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  1. An Introduction to the History and Principles of Heraldry.
  2. An Introduction to History and Principles of Heraldry.

Which one is grammatically correct, with "the" or without "the"? Why?

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  • Unless you're talking about history in general, prefer the definite article there: An Introduction to the History and Principles of Heraldry.
    – Robusto
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 14:23
  • @Robusto: Which preference causes many people to suppose what Gibbon wrote was entitled The decline and fall..., but in fact that initial article was never included. I think the question is Off Topic because "grammatically correct" isn't really relevant to book titles. Commented May 25, 2015 at 14:42
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    This is a title. Titles do not follow any consistent pattern of article use. Unless it's your book and you're in charge of the title, don't worry about it. Commented May 25, 2015 at 16:59

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Both are grammatical, but the form with "the" is overwhelmingly more common in phrases of this sort.

I find it hard to explain why. I think it's something to do with the fact that the "of" phrase limits it and makes it in a sense more definite. But I suspect it's just one of those oddities of English: we don't say "the history" but we do say "the history of ... "

(On the other hand, we would say "methods of ... " rather than "the methods of ... ").

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