PGW is an anthology. It is a rarity in this milieu--a work that is no more than it represents itself to be. Sitwell says in the preface:
This is not a book about Dreams; it is meant for those whose 'continual cares, fears, sorrows, dry brains', drive rest away; it contains some of the composing and calming beauties that, in the compiler's own experience, bring a happy sleep in their train. Here are evocations of a beauty that conceals no terror, here are flowing rhythms that hold no more wakefulness in their sound than those of a river, thoughts and ways being like those of music ... And this is a book to bring sleep to us.I got my first copy in college; it bore the signature of my girlfriend's roommate, and I can't remember today whether I stole or whether it just fell into the baggage. That copy disappeared after many years (fair turnabout, I guess), but through the magic of Google, I was able to acquire another. It was my own introduction, not merely to Sir Thomas Browne (infra) but to Sir John Mandeville, Kt., and the inimitable Christopher Smart -- also the night-piece from Shakespeare's Cymbeline. It's not a major treasure, but it is something to cherish. I hereby commit to buy a fistful of copies from the first republisher who brings a decent edition into print.