What I want to do in this book is to define popular literature, to trace its development in England from the beginnings of printing to the year 1897, and finally to provide a critical survey of sources available for its study. I have not attempted to discuss the growth of newspapers or periodicals. Both are related to my theme, but seem to me to require entirely separate treatment. Any attempt to be comprehensive in a book of this size would result in a superficiality which I hope, by taking a more narrow view, to have avoided.