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Antonina
Wilkie Collins

Page 1 of 824


ANTONINA
OR, THE FALL OF ROME 

by WILKIE COLLINS 

PREFACE 

In preparing to compose a fiction founded on history, the writer of
these pages thought it no necessary requisite of such a work that the
principal characters appearing in it should be drawn from the historical
personages of the period.  On the contrary, he felt that some very
weighty objections attached to this plan of composition.  He knew well
that it obliged a writer to add largely from invention to what was
actually known--to fill in with the colouring of romantic fancy the bare
outline of historic fact--and thus to place the novelist's fiction in
what he could not but consider most unfavourable contrast to the
historian's truth.  He was further by no means convinced that any story
in which historical characters supplied the main agents, could be
preserved in its fit unity of design and restrained within its due

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