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ENGUERRAND DE MONSTRELET;
AN ACCOUNT OF THE CRUEL CIVIL WARS BETWEEN THE HOUSES OF
ORLEANS AND BURGUNDY;
THE POSSESSION OF PARIS AND NORMANDY BY THE ENGLISH ;
THEIR EXPULSION THENCE;
AND OF OTHER MEMORABLE EVENTS THAT HAPPENED IN THE KINGDOM OF FRANCE, AS WELL AS
IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
A HISTORY OF FAIR EXAMPLE, AND OF GREAT PROFIT TO THE FRENCH.
BEGINNING AT THE YEAR MCCCC., WHERE THAT OF SIR JOHN FROISSART FINISHES, AND ENDING AT THE YEAR
MCCCCLXVII., AND CONTINUED BY OTHERS TO THE YEAR MDXVI.
The Chronicles of Monstrelet form an immediate continuation of those of Froissart, and although not possessing all the spirit-stirring vigour of the chivalric pages of the Canon of Chimay, which exhibit in that respect merit altogether unsurpassed, yet they are by no means deficient in descriptive power; and as an historical authority, the accuracy of the dates and transcripts of official documents render the work invaluable as a store-house of ascertained facts, and in that respect superior to its predecessor, who is not famed for such scrupulous nicety.
It may be proper to mention in this place, that the first and second books, carrying on the history of France, and in part that of Europe generally, from the year 1400, when Froissart concludes, to the month of May 1444, are alone the genuine work of Monstrelet. The remainder, in which the history is continued to 1516, many years after Monstrelet's death, is a mere compilation from other chronicles, but as that portion is fully commented on in the annexed essays of M. Dacier and M. de Foncemagne, it is unnecessary to enter further upon the subject.
The merit of the wood-cuts, on which no pains or expense have been spared, needs no eulogium from the pen of the editor. Their pictorial excellence, and the accurate delineation of architecture and costume, give them value ; and many of the landscapes and views of places having been made expressly for this work, are invested with an additional interest, as possessing a guarantee of fidelity, in which mere copies of the works of others are necessarily deficient.