Hitherto students of Russian who attempted to learn the language without the help of a teacher have been met by a grave initial difficulty - the want of a good Grammar. As a general rule they availed themselves of Reiff's "English-Russian Grammar," but it left much to be desired. There existed, it is true, in French and German, Grammars on the Ollendorff System, but in English there was little aid to be obtained beyond what Reiff could give. In order to meet the demand caused by the growing interest in the Russian language - a language which has been neglected in a manner for which it is difficult to account, but to which political circumstances have lately given a novel importance - Mr. Trübner has caused the present work to be prepared, and he has asked me to supply it with a few lines of Preface, which I do willingly.
I am far from thinking Ollendorff's System the best possible, but in the present instance there was not much choice.