From the preface of The Englishman and the Scandinavian, or, A comparison of Anglo-Saxon and old Norse literature:
The germ, or rather an outline sketch, of this volume is contained in a tractate, printed by the author for private circulation in the autumn of 1876. This caught the attention of persons who read it, men and women alike. They were interested in the subject, which in this light was comparatively new to them. Could not the outline be filled in and the essay developed into a book? “What they wanted was an exposition of the subject — the customs, notions, language, and literature of the two peoples, based on the most rigid research, but adapted for a wider class of readers than students only — a kind of bird’s-eye view of the whole matter, but with sufficient depth and colour. Dry faqts by all means, but so grouped as to catch the fancy as well as inform the understanding. The two need not clash. The author took the hint, and has striven to the best of his ability to meet their wishes. The result is before the reader.
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