A collection of statements by literary men and others about the nature and use of the language, its resources, potentialities and development. Volume I covered the period 1490-1839. Volume II starts in 1858 and runs to the 1960s and therefore records the rise first of philology, then of modern linguistic study. Accordingly this volume contains a number of excerpts from the writings of great European and American language-scholars (Sweet, Sapir and Bloomfield among others) as well as by important writers. The volume provides a readable and often entertaining introduction to thought about English, and language generally, during the period and also illustrates the overall development of attitudes. The editors provide an introduction and study questions for those readers who use the book for formal class-study. Distinctive features of the original writings are preserved as examples of variety of style, spelling, punctuation and general presentation. Footnotes explain difficulties.