The Young Melbourne: And the Story of His Marriage with Caroline Lamb

The Young Melbourne: And the Story of His Marriage with Caroline Lamb

The Young Melbourne: And the Story of His Marriage with Caroline Lamb

The Young Melbourne: And the Story of His Marriage with Caroline Lamb

Excerpt

A well-executed design should need no elucidation. But the nature of my subject has involved me in certain peculiarities of treatment which may justify me in offering a few sentences of explanation. My book is a study in the evolution of a character, William Lamb, Lord Melbourne's. His was a complex nature slow to develop; it was not until middle-age that it reached full maturity. I trace his story therefore until the age of forty-seven, just before the opening of his active career as a public man. The book is divided into three parts, corresponding to the three main stages in his development; and closes with an analysis, illustrated by references both to his earlier and subsequent life, of his character at last set into that final shape, in which it made its mark on history. Further during these formative years he was a passive figure. His story is mainly the story of the influence exerted on his spirit by other characters, and their activities. To understand him, we must understand them. My picture in consequence is not so much a single portrait as a conversation piece.

I must add some words of gratitude: first to His Majesty the King, for graciously permitting me to consult . . .

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