Blupete's Library Page

The Historians & Their Books.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M Jump

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Albion, Robert Greenhalgh: Albion is described on the cover as the a Professor Emeritus of Oceanic History at Harvard; Director of the Munson Institute of maritime history at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut; and, between the years 1943 and 1950, a part time historian for the US Navy.
  • Naval & Maritime History: An Annotated Bibliography (1963) (Wiltshire: David & Charles, 4th ed., 1973). A valuable research aid to maritime historians.

    Ashton, John (b.1834)
  • The Dawn of the XIXth Century in England (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 5th ed., 1906).

    Ashton, T.S.: Ashton is (was) a professor of the London School of Economics.
  • An Economic History of England: The 18th Century (1955) (London: Methuen, 1969).

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    Beard, Charles A. (1874-1948) & Mary R. (1876-1958): Beard had been on the faculty of Columbia University. In his earlier works his liberalism shone forth (he figured that, as property owners, the framers of the American Constitution were chiefly interested in constructing a charter to protect their wealth). He was a strong advocate of the idea that the study of history should include consideration of all cultural forces. He wrote several books with his wife, a historian of both the feministic and the labour movements. Beard's early liberalism faded toward the end of his life, when he began advocating more conservative ideas; he became an isolationist in foreign policy, and an outspoken critic of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • The Rise of American Civilization (New York: MacMillan).
  • An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (1913); (New York: Free Press, 1966).
  • Charles A. Beard: An Intellectual Biography by Ellen Nore (1942- ); (Southern Illinois University Press, 1983).

    Bowen, Catherine Drinker: I know little of Catherine Bowen; other, than, she is a lady after my heart; knowing, as she did, the intimate details of the lives of Francis Bacon, Sir Edward Coke, and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: three great historical figures which every lawyer should know about. She wrote their biographies.
  • Francis Bacon - The Temper of the Man (Little Brown & Co., 1963).
  • The Lion and the Throne (Boston: Little, Brown; 1957).
  • Yankee from Olympus (Boston: Little, Brown; 1945).

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    Carlyle, Thomas (1795-1881): & Carlyle, Scottish born, was deeply imbued with the belief in the depravity of the human race. An interesting mix of a man: while believing in the power of the individual, especially the strong, heroic leader (the romantic beliefs of the time); he distrusted democracy: and while he hated laissez-faire, and feared what the machines of industrialism would do to man; he distrusted social legislators. The book that Carlyle is best remembered by is The French Revolution written in 1837.
  • French Revolution (1837) (New York: Lupton, nd).

    Creasy, Sir Edward Shepard (1812-78): Creasy was a Fellow at Cambridge. Called to the bar in 1837, Creasy was appointed professor of History of London University in 1840. In 1860 Creasy was appointed as the chief-justice of Ceylon. Creasy's Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World was one of the great Victorian best-sellers, rivalling Darwin's Origin of The Species and Smiles' Self-Help. The book was republished 38 times in the 43 year period between 1851-1894.
  • Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World (1851). Includes an accounting of The Battle of Hastings (1066), Joan of Arc's Victory at Orleans (1429), Spanish Armada (1588), Battle of Blenheim (1704), Saratoga (1777), Battle of Waterloo (1815). (London: Dent, Everyman's Lib., 1972).

    Creevey, Thomas (1768-1838): The Creevey Papers cover the period from 1793 to 1838. This work was written by "a minor politician." This work is an important source of Georgian social history.
  • The Creevey Papers (London: John Murray, 1904). This 2 volume copy shows that the work was edited by Sir Herbert Maxwell. It contains plates of Sheridan, Broughm, Romilly, Castlereagh, Canning, Earl Gray and Vicount Melbourne.

    Cunningham, William (1849-1919): Cunningham was a Scottish economist who taught at Cambridge.
  • The Industrial Revolution. This is only part (Parliamentary Colbertism and Laissey Faire) of Cunningham's larger work, Growth of English Industry and Commerce, a standard work for many years (Cambridge University Press, 1908).

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    Durant, Will (1885-1981): Durant's popularity was assured with the publication of his work, The Story of Philosophy. He went on and spent the balance of his life in close corroboration with his wife to write the multi-voluminous work, for which they will forever be known, The Story of Civilization. For those of you who would like to do more in life than just read, -- do, at least, read the last book written by the Durants. In it they give forth with their conclusions, made at the end of their long lifetime study, in 117 pages, The Lessons of History (1968); no one should be without their own copy.
  • Story of Civilization (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954-75). This has been become a classic of our century. Durant's History (his wife, Ariel, collaborated in the writing of it) consists, fully of eleven large volumes:
    I, "Our Oriental Heritage";
    II, "The Life of Greece";
    III, "Caesar and Christ";
    IV, "The Age of Faith";
    V, "The Renaissance";
    VI "The Reformation";
    VII, "The Age of Reason Begins";
    VIII, "The Age of Louis XIV";
    IX, "The Age of Napoleon";
    X, "Rousseau and Revolution";
    XI, "The Age of Voltaire."
  • The Lessons of History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1968); pp. 117. This is an extremely valuable small volume in which the Durants write up their conclusions after having spent, jointly, a long life of studying and writing history.

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    Freeman, Edward A. (1823-1892): Freeman taught at Trinity College, Oxford, filling the office of examiner in law and modern history from 1857 to 1864. Freeman's history of The Norman Conquest may be ranked among the great works of the 19th century." One of "Freeman's finest essays" is "Race and Language" to be found in Essays of British Essayists (New York: The Colonial Press, 1900).

    Froude, James Anthony (1818-1894): Froude was educated at Oxford like his brother Edward A. Freeman (in whose office he replaced in 1892).
  • English Seaman in the Sixteenth Century Re: Drake, Raleigh, slave trade, armada; plates; (London: Longmans, Green; 1907).
  • Oceana or England and Her Colonies; plates; (London: Longmans, Green; 1888).
  • The English in the West Indies; Eight plates; (London: Longmans, Green, 1888 (1st ed.), 1892). A bookseller writes: "Froude was an ardent, if erratic, disciple of Carlyle. His eminence as historian and stylist called attention to this book, which it might not have received otherwise; as a work of history it is of negligible importance. It is significant, however, as the first notable return to a proslavery interpretation of West Indian history. In its day it made a great stir and provoked many angry rejoinders."

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    Gibbon, Edward (1737-94): Gibbon's idea of history was that it was "little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind." It's this cynicism that adds "a spice to the work which relates it to literature rather than history. His accuracy in the use of his sources has not been questioned." (Chamber's.) Gibbon's major work, of course was his multi-volumed The History of the Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire written through the years, 1776 to 1787. Gibbon wrote an autobiography.
  • Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire (New York: AMS Press, 1974); 7 Vols. Written through the years 1776 to 1787, Gibbon's work is the standard history on the Roman civilization.

    Green, John Richard (1837-1883): Born at Oxford and educated there (Magdalen School and Jesus College), eventually, in 1868, Green was to become the librarian at Lambeth (London). Unfortunately, the year after his new job at Lambeth, Green was to come down with tuberculosis which made "all active work impossible"; thus he started his great work, History of the English People. This work has been described as being "the first complete history of England from the social side related to geography and the antiquities with superb literary skill." (Chambers.)
  • History of the English People (1877-80); runs to many volumes.

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    Hallam, Henry (1777-1859): Hallam was educated at Eton and Oxford (Christ Church) and called to the bar in 1802.
  • The Constitutional History of England from Henry VII [1457] to George II [1760] (1827).

    Hakluyt, Richard (1552-1616): Contemporaneous to the times of which he wrote, Hakluyt was the first to write up the first sea voyages to North American. For a concise wrap-up of Hakluyt see Chatterton's English Seaman and the Colonization of America, p. 70.
  • Voyages & Documents (1582); This collection contains first hand accounts of the great historical adventures of Columbus, Cabot, Drake, Frobisher, Gilbert, et al.; (Oxford University Press, 1958). (I see from one of Francis Edward's catalogues that Hakluyt's work can extent to many, many vols.)

    Herodotus (ca484-ca430 BC): A Greek physician, Herodotus is known as "the Father of History". Herodotus' history is an account of the clash between Greece and the Persian Empire.
  • The History; Trs. by Henry Cary; (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1992).

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    Johnson, Paul (1928- ): Johnson is the past editor of the New Statesman and has been a visiting lecturer at educational institutions around the world; he has won numerous literary awards. His The Birth of the Modern was one of the best reads I ever had, all 1,100 pages of it; and his Modern Times is the best wrap up on the 20th century to be presently had.
  • Political Anecdotes; (Oxford University Press, 1986)
  • Intellectuals; (1988) (Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Brecht, Russell, Sartre, Edmund Wilson, Victor Gollancz & Lillian Hellman) (New York: Harper & Row, 1988)
  • Birth of the Modern (World Society 1815-1830) (1983) (New York: HarperCollins, 1991)
  • Modern Times, From the Twenties to the Nineties (1983) (New York: HarperCollins, 1991)
  • Castles of England, Scotland and Wales (Harper Collins, 1992)
  • A History of the American People (1983) (New York: HarperCollins, 1999)

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    Keegan, John (1934-2012): Keegan has been a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst since 1960. Keegan's work, The Face of Battle (1976), with illustrations, contains accounts of the Battle of Agincourt (1415), Waterloo (1815) and Somme (1916). In his The Face of Battle Keegan describes "a moving meditation on the growing brutality of modern warfare." In his conclusion, maybe wishfully, Keegan thinks that it is this brutality which might bring a permanent end to war. The problem is that people all to quickly forget the horrors of war, of which Keegan graphical reminds us. (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1993.) Then there is Keegan's The Mask of Command where in gives us an insight into the lives and exploits of Alexander the Great, Wellington, Grant, and Hitler (Viking, 1987). Also you shouldn't miss Keegan's The Second World War, in one volume, photos and all. (Penguin, 1990.)

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    Livy (Titus Livius) (BC59-AD17): Livy was a Roman historian. He is considered to be in the forefront of the Latin writers. His history of Rome consisted of 142 books of which only 35 have come down to us; summaries (periochae) of the others, except but for a couple, did, however, survive. In Chambers, we see: "For investigation of facts he did not go far afield. Accepting history as fine art rather than as science, he was content to take his authorities as he found them, and where they differed was guided by taste or predilection."

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    Macaulay, Thomas Babington (1800-1859): Admitted to the bar in 1826, Macaulay turned to literature. Known as a Whig writer, Macaulay's style is the perfection of clearness, not an ambiguous sentence is to be found throughout his works, brilliant language; Thackeray referred to him as a master with a "prodigious memory and vast learning ... He reads twenty books to write a sentence; he travels a hundred miles to make a line of description." (See Thackeray's essay, "Nil Nisi Bonum.") Macaulay wrote History of England (1848-61), but a small volume of his best essays would be enough for your library shelf, making sure the volume includes "Machiavelli," "Southey's Colloquies," and "Bacon." For samples of Macaulay's writing, see, two of his essays which we have put up online: "The Task of the Modern Historian" and "The Puritans."
  • England, History of (1848-61); 4 vols.; Macaulay's history, unfortunately was left incomplete due to his death and ends April, 1700; (London: Heron, 1967).

    Mahan, Alfred T. (1840-1914): A graduate of Annapolis, Mahan was a career officer in the American navy. Towards the end of his career he was appointed to lecture at the War College in Newport. It was during this time, in 1886, that Mahan wrote and saw to its publication, The Influence of Seapower Upon History; it is this work on which Mahan's reputation was built. Mahan wrote in his biography (From Sail to Steam), as quoted by George Otto Trevelyan (George The Third And Charles Fox, vol.1, fn at p. 140): "I [Mahan] believe enthusiasm no bad spirit in which to realize history to yourself or others. It tends to bias; but bias can be controlled. Enthusiasm has its place, not only in action, but in writing ; quite as much as critical analysis, and judicial impartiality, have theirs. The moment of exaltation gone, the dispassionate intellect may sit in judgment upon the expressions of thought and feeling which had been prompted by the stirring of the mind ; but, without this, there lacks one element of true presentation. The height of full recognition for a great event, or a great personality, has not been reached."
  • The Influence of Seapower Upon History (1660-1783). This heavily documented work of Mahan's traces and explains the rise and progress of British sea power from the middle of the seventeenth century to the close of the Napoleonic wars. Remembering that, certainly up to 1886, America had been engrossed in developing the interior of "its" continent, Mahan's book, as much as anything else, was meant to rekindle among his own countrymen their former interest in sea power. Mahan believed that there are certain conditions which a country must meet if it aims to achieve power at sea. These conditions Mahan set forth are six in number: geographical position, physical conformation (including natural production and climate), extent of territory, number of population, character of the people, and character of the government. Sea power is dependent on both a flourishing merchant marine and a successful navy, one not being possible without the other. In regards to geographical position: a nation, such as the island nation of Britain, has a vast advantage where "it is neither forced to defend itself by land nor induced to seek extension of its territory by way of the land ... as compared with people one of whose boundaries is continental." Nations which are not overly rich in soil and climate, such as England and Holland, are naturally induced to take to the sea. Extended coast lines are also of help. (These last two conditions certainly apply to Nova Scotia and account for Nova Scotia's sea strength during the 19th century.) Ills. In this work will be found maps & plans of naval battles and references to Byng, Hawke, Byron, Louisbourg, etc. The copy I possess: [London: Sampson Low, nd (c1889)] is covered in dk. blue cl., embossed gilt, t.e.g.
  • The Influence of Seapower Upon the French Revolution and Empire 1793-1812. This work is a follow up to Mahan's first and more popular work, The Influence of Seapower Upon History (Boston: Little, Brown; 1894) in two vols.
  • Sea Power in its Relations to The War of 1812 (London: Sampson, Low, Marston, 1905) in two vols.

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    Namier, Sir Lewis Berstein (1888-1960): A British historian; a "namierism" is a way of writing history, where the emphasis is on "microscopic analysis of events and institutions, particularly parliament, so as to reveal the entire motivation of the individuals involved in them." (Chambers.)
  • The Structure of Politics (1928); In this work Namier deals with the history of parliament and its situation upon the ascension of King George III (1760); (London: MacMillan, 2nd ed., 1957).

    Naval History:
  • The Practice of the Court of Admiralty in England and Ireland, etc. (Dublin: Richard Watts, 1757). "Necessary for all Practitioners, Merchants, Insurers, Seaman, and others that may have Bufinefs in the Court of Admiralty."
  • The Health of Seamen (London: Navy Records Society, Vol. 107, 1965). Selections from the works of Dr. James Lind, Sir Gilbert Blane and Dr. Thomas Trotter; Edited by Christopher Lloyd, Prof. of History, Royal Naval College, Greenwich; Conditions afloat, scurvy, typhus, etc.
  • The Royal Navy and North America (London: Navy Records Society, Vol. 118, 1973.) Except for the synoptic 29 page introduction, this is a publication of letters (Admiralty Board, V-Admiral Warren, Pepperell, et al.) between the years 1735-52 (events leading up to, and the siege and occupation of Louisbourg; Biographical Directory; Julian Gwyn, Prof. of Hist. at Ottawa, Ed.; Maps & Ills.
  • British Naval Documents 1204-1960 (London: Navy Records Society, Vol. 131, 1993). This work, put out by the Navy Records Society in commemoration of its centenary, sets out a selection of documents effecting the Royal Navy over many years; it is broken down into seven periods, one being that period (Part V) between 1714 and 1815, between the Peace of Utrecht [1714] to the Peace of Versailles [1815]. One can find much in this volume everything from press warrants to the order in council of 1807. At the will find a Glossary, List of Sources, Bibliography, Subject Index and Ships Index.
  • The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815 (London: Navy Records Society, Vol. 132, 1994).

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    Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955): Ortega introduced to Spain the French novelist, Marcel Proust (1871-1922) and the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941). There, and in his time, Ortega was "a most influential author." (Chambers.) Ortega's contribution to written history is Revolt of the Masses (1930); in it, Ortega urges that countries should be ruled by the intellectual elite to avoid the decaying influence of the mob on the arts and government. Professor Mises comments (Planning for Freedom): "[The masses] are not creative and do not develop philosophies of their own, [they] follow leaders. The ideologies which produced all the mischiefs and catastrophes of our century [20th] are not an achievement of the mob. They are the feats of pseudo scholars and pseudo intellectuals."

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    Parkman, Francis (1823-1893) (Portraiture): Parkman was born in Boston and educated at Harvard (studied law). While yet a young man, Parkman was to roam Wyoming. Of these adventures he was to eventually write, in 1857, in his book, The Oregon Trail. Parkman, early in life, was afflicted with physical disorders including such poor vision that he could not write without assistance; he was, in fact, a semi-invalid for most of his life. He wrote a multi-volumed history of the struggle between Great Britain and France for the control of North America. France and England in North America is an essential history for any Canadian historian (for that matter just simply any Canadian) to read. For Parkman "the eventual success of the British represented the victory of progress [Protestant democracy] over reaction [Catholic despotism]." ( Benet's.) His writing of history "is distinguished by its documentation from original sources ... [by his] virile style and narrative skill." (Benet's.) Parkman was known to have researched his subject scrupulously, then describing historical scenes in romantic style, but only after having traveling to examine the very site. However, Parkman is not without his critics, see for example Edouard Richard.

    Plutarch (c. A.D.46-c.120): Plutarch was a Greek historian. Though he went off to Rome for a number of visits where he gave public lectures in philosophy, Plutarch spent his years in his native Athens. Among his extant writings, for which he is best remembered, is his biographies, "a gallery of forty-six portraits of the great characters of the ages preceding his own ... Plutarch's Biographies are monuments of great literary value for the precious materials which they contain, based as they are on lost records." (Chambers.)

    Prescott, Wm. Hickling (1796-1859): Prescott is another example of a writer that suffered from a disability; he lost the use of his left eye when a fellow student at Harvard playfully threw something at him. Trained in the law he spent his life researching and writing history. He had the ability to write dramatic and exciting narratives. (Benét's.) His work: Conquest of Mexico (1843).

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    Reed, John (1887-1920): Reed earns a place on account of his work, Ten Days That Shook The World (New York: Random House). Written in 1919, Reed's work deals with the momentous Russian Revolution.

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    Tacitus (A.D.55-c.120c.): Tacitus was a Roman historian, a pleader at the Roman bar. He had married the daughter of Agricola, the conqueror of Britain. "His statuesque style is often obscure from condensation. He copied much from earlier historians and was biased in his republican ideals and hatreds." (Chambers.)

    Thucydides (460-c.400B.C.): Thucydides was a Greek historian of the Peloponnesian war.

    Toynbee, Arnold J. (1889-1975): Born at London, Toynbee was a much respected history professor with international credentials (he attended both peace conferences in 1919 and in 1946). Toynbee had a "profound scholarship in the histories of world civilizations combined with the wide sweep of a near metaphysical turn of mind ..." (Chambers.) (Sir Karl Popper was of the view that Toynbee supported "historicism," in that Toynbee, inappropriately, extended the theory of evolution to history. Collections of people, civilizations, cannot be treated, as Toynbee did, as if they were physical or biological bodies, such that scientific methods might be employed to predict future events. This is a fallacy, the same fallacy into which Marx fell.) Toynbee's magnum opus is, A Study of History, printed over a series of years (1945-1961) by the Oxford University Press. Now most people would not have the time or the patience to read Toynbee's work in its entirety. With this in mind, D. C. Somervell wrote (with Toynbee's approval and praise) a 2 volume abridgement of Toynbee's 10 volume work.
  • A Study of History (D. C. Somervell's 2 Volume abridgement) (Oxford University Press, 1947 & 1957).
  • The World and the West (Oxford University Press, 1953). This book arose because of the Reith Lectures of 1952 which Toynbee delivered through a series of radio talks put out by the British Broadcasting Corporation. "...the west has never been all of the world that matters. The west has not been the only actor on the stage of modern history even at the peak of the West's power (and this peak has perhaps now [1952] already been passed) ... It has not been the west that has been hit by the world; it has been the world that has been hit -- and hit hard -- by the west ..." The lectures seem to break down into six: Russia and the West, Islam and the West, India and the West, The Far East and the West, The Psychologies of Encounters, and The World, and the Greeks and Romans.
  • Civilization on Trial (Oxford University Press, 1948). This work consists of thirteen essays, including, "My view of History." Toynbee "sees the Universe and all that therein is -- souls bodies, experience and events -- in irreversible movement through time space ... the universe becomes intelligible to the extent of our ability to apprehend it as a whole." To Toynbee, the whole is a "mysterious spectacle"; and thus, history passes over into theology."
  • Mankind and Mother Earth (Oxford University Press, 1976).

    Trevelyan, George Macaulay (1876-1962): Son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan, the younger Trevelyan was, of course, educated at Cambridge: eventually he was to became a professor of History at Cambridge. "Trevelyan believed that history should be written as literature, that is, to be read." I list but a few of Trevelyan's works.
  • British History in the Nineteenth Century (1782-1901) (London: Longmans, Green; 1924).
  • Lord Grey of the Reform Bill (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1929, 2nd ed.).
  • England Under Queen Anne: 1702-1714 (1930, 1932, 1934,); Blenheim, Marlborough, Ramillies, Union with Scotland, etc.; Ills. & Maps; in three volumes; (London: Longmans, Green; 1948).
  • English Social History (Toronto: Longmans, Green; 1st Can ed., 1946). A survey of six centuries from Chaucer to Queen Victoria;
  • History of England (Doubleday Anchor Book, 1952).
  • Shorter History of England (Penguin, 1960).
  • An Autobiography & Other Essays (London: Longmans, Green; July, 1949). Trevelyan's thoughts on History, Religion, Poetry, The Two Party System, Swift, etc.
  • Life of John Bright (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1913). See my note John Bright.

    Trevelyan, Sir George Otto (1838-1928): Sir George Otto's mother was Hannah Moore, Lord Macaulay's sister. George Otto was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. Elected to the House of Parliament, Trevelyan held a number of important posts: Lord of the Admiralty (1868-70), secretary for Ireland (1882-84) and secretary for Scotland (1886,92-95). As any wise politician should do, Trevelyan studied history; and, indeed, as we see, wrote it. The work I have is George The Third and Charles Fox, this being, apparently, part of Sir George Otto's larger work, The American Revolution (London: Longmans, Green; 1912).

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    Walpole, Horace (1717-97):
    "Walpole's literary reputation rests chiefly upon his letters, which deal, in the most vivacious way, with party politics, foreign affairs, literature, art and gossip. His firsthand accounts in them of such events as the Jacobite trials after the '45 and the Gordon Riots, are invaluable." (Chambers.) Though shorter versions are available, the work I possess consists of many volumes of Walpole's Letters (Edinburgh, John Grant, 1904-6).

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    Peter Landry