The Old Court Suburb, or Memorials of Kensington, Regal, Critical, and Anecdotical Volume I

Hunt, Leigh


Just Published, Illustrated with Portraits,
FROM THE TIMES, MAY 30th.--" These volumes consist, in the main, of letters written by the two brothers, Lord Grenville and Mr. T. Grenville, to their elder brother, the Marquis of Buckingham, for his information, as to the political circumstances of the time. In the two former volumes a great amount of curious gossip, and of valuable information, was contained relative to the formation of the Coalition Ministry, the King's illness in
, and the early period of the war with revolutionary
. Volumes 3 and 4 take up the tale where volumes 1 and 2 had left it; and herein we find a tolerably connected narrative of the many stirring historical events which occurred between
, when Lord Grenville and Talleyrand were in correspondence respecting Bonaparte's proposals for peace, until the return of the King's malady in
, and the debates in Parliament relative to the regency. The present collection is more valuable than the last, inasmuch as Lord Grenville, having attained higher dignity and experience, is a more dispassionate observer of passing events. Whoever would desire to read the running comments of so eminent and well informed a man as Lord Grenville, upon a decade so interesting as that of
-10, would do well to consult these volumes. Lord Grenville was certainly among the most far-sighted men of his time; and to him, from the first, belongs the credit of appreciating truly Napoleon Bonaparte's position and designs. He did so even to a higher degree than Pitt; and it is most remarkable how far his predictions have been verified by the event, even when submitted to the sharp test of the judgment of posterity. The principal points on which light is thrown by the present correspondence are, the negotiations before and after the Treaty of Amiens until the time of its rupture-the true character of Addington's Administration, and the relations between "the Doctor" and Pitt-the formation of the Pitt and Sidmouth Cabinet, when the King's prejudices against Charles Fox were found to be insurmountable-the Grenville and Fox short Administration-the Duke of Portland's Cabinet-the expedition to Portugal, with its climax at Cintra-the Duke of York's scandal with Mrs. Clarke-Sir John Moore's retreat, with the earlier Spanish campaigns of Sir Arthur Wellesley; and, finally, the disastrous ' Walcheren' affair. There is much curious matter interposed in the shape of precis upon the situation of affairs, written from time to time by Lord Grenville himself; and perhaps still more, curious reports made to the Marquis of Buckingham by a certain - , whose name remains a mystery, but who seems to have been tolerably well acquainted with the arcana imperii at the beginning of the century. There is much in these volumes which well deserves perusal. There is a portion of their contents which possesses nearly as high a claim upon
our instant and careful consideration as the Minutes of the Sebastopol Committee."
FROM THE. ATHENEUM.-" THE present volumes exhibit the same features as the former portion of the series. The general reader is entertained, and the reader for historical purposes is enlightened. Of their value and importance, there cannot be two opinions. There are abundant revelations of interest to arrest attention in many of these papers. On the characters of George the Fourth and the Duke of Wellington, there are some very valuable letters. In Court scandals, the affairs of the Duke of York and Mrs Clarke are brought under notice; and in what we may designate as public scandals, the ' horrors of routine' receive abunduant illustrations in the letters about the Walcheren Expedition, and on the Peninsular War. Our extracts sufficiently show the high interest belonging to these volumes."
FROM THE EXAMINER.-" These volumes worthily complete an undertaking which will earn for the Duke of Buckingham the thanks of not a few historians. We have before us the secret movements of parties, the motives of individuals, the minute anatomy of every political act and word laid bare. All the town gossip has been preserved; we have innumerable authentic anecdotes, and full personal details about every person on the public stage, and as for the King and his unhappy family, we have their sayings and doings, their whims and blunders, and every scrap of scandal connected with their domestic affairs, made out for nearly every day in every year."
FROM THE SPECTATOR -" These volumes throw new light on the great subjects of the period. There is a good deal of interest in their comments, especially on such matters as the Walcheren Expedition-Mrs. Clarke's exposure of the Duke of York-the intrigues of Canning, who comes out badly-the behaviour of the Prince of Wales, who comes out selfish, small. and false. The letters of the leading correspondents are of a high class. The collection is well edited for popular purposes."
FROM THE STANDARD.-" These volumes comprehend a period the most important in the events relating to our domestic affairs and foreign relations to be found in the British annals, told, not only by eye witnesses, but by the very men who put them in motion. The volumes now published immeasurably exceed their predecessors in interest and importance. They must tind a place in the library of every English gentleman."
FROM THE OBSERVER.-" A more valuable addition to the political literature of the country has not been produced for some time, than these memoirs. They throw a flood of light upon the policy and conduct of the successive governments of this country during the latter period of the eventful reign of George III. They admit us into the secret arcana of the actions and the motives of the principal actors in the great events which took place, and while they afford some glimpses of noble and heroic conduct, they expose a vast mass of that hollowness of profession, and those selfish motives, which, by turns, animated and influenced the conduct, of many of our public men. The opinions expressed, as well as the facts stated, may be read with interest by all parties, and studied with peculiar profit by the historian. The noble editor of these interesting volumes deserves the thanks of the public for the ability he has displayed in arranging these valuable contributions to the political history of our country."
HURST AND BLACKETT, Publishers, Successors to HENRY COLBURN, 13, Great Marlborough Street.