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In the Prospectus originally issued for this Work, the purposes for which it was undertaken, were thus expressed.—“That ANTIQUARIAN and TOPOGRAPHICAL STUDIES may be rendered far more popular than they have hitherto been-more attractive and interesting to the uninitiated, without becoming in such form unworthy the attention of those who have long pursued themthere can be no doubt. Graphic Illustration has a charm for almost every one; and many who have, at first, been attracted by that alone, have insensibly acquired a relish for investigating and inquiring into the subjects thus introduced to them. From careless and casual inspection, they have been led on to make themselves acquainted with the history of the buildings and places they were shewn—to compare their former with their present state, to learn who were their founders or occupiers, and what events or traditions are connected with them; and, afterwards, to study whatever relates to the architecture, the state of art and literature, the manners, the habits, and the costume of former periods,-taking the term costume in its most liberal and comprehensive sense. Such collateral inquiries, if not indispensably necessary to the study of History, in the popular import of the word, are undoubtedly of extensive assistance, while they impart to it an additional charm, and confer on its scenes and actors that reality and those vivid colours, without which History itself either sinks into a dry chronological register of events, or imperceptibly transforms itself into philosophical discussion.
“Our NATIONAL ANTIQUITIES will, of course, occupy a considerable portion of attention, and furnish the chief subjects of our embellishments, comprising Buildings, Monuments, Dress, Arms, Sports, and Amusements, &c. &c. ; while the HISTORICAL department will embrace Biography, Genealogy, Family History, Traditions, Anecdotes, Letters, &c., with Portraits of distinguished and remarkable individuals, from monuments and other authentic documents ; fac-similes of their autographs, and other illustrations.—But we shall not confine ourselves to the Antiquities and History of our own country :-those of other nations, of such especially, as have been most connected with England, and where the progress of society has been nearly parallel with our own, will obtain our notice. Neither shall we scruple to introduce, as opportunity may offer, subjects of modern Architecture and Topography, feeling assured that they will materially add to the interest of the ILLUSTRATOR, and tend to render it more generally attractive and popular than it could otherwise expect to be.”
Such was the comprehensive design under which this Publication was commenced. In engaging to superintend it, I had the farther object in view of trying whether even a Cheap periodical might not be so conducted as to diffuse a more general taste for the higher stages of literary pursuits and research, than had before been prevalent.-By treating them in a pleasing and popular manner, it was my wish to familiarize Archæological inquiries, to extend the influence of Antiquarian lore, to correctly delineate the National Manners of the olden times, to disseminate just principles on Architecture and the Arts, to elucidate points of History of dubious