A Character of the Trimmer: Being a Short Life of the First Marquis of Halifax

A Character of the Trimmer: Being a Short Life of the First Marquis of Halifax

A Character of the Trimmer: Being a Short Life of the First Marquis of Halifax

A Character of the Trimmer: Being a Short Life of the First Marquis of Halifax

Excerpt

The origin of the present work seems to demand some preliminary explanation.

In the year 1897 there appeared a Life and Works of the first Marquis of Halifax--the earliest and, up to now, sole attempt of this nature--by the present author. Though the work of a then young and quite inexperienced writer, it had the good fortune to attract and retain the attention of experts in the period in question. Its length, however, and a multiplicity--it may be feared a super- fluity--of footnotes acted as an almost complete deterrent to the general reader. It has long been the wish of its author to produce a less ponderous biography, which might arouse a wider interest in the personality and career of this great Englishman.

As the present work is in the main a condensation of the original Life, it has been found possible to dispense altogether with references, save where fresh evidence is concerned; and such references have been relegated to the end of the volume.

For the benefit of readers who are not acquainted with the original work, it is here only necessary to state, in a few words, that the personal papers of the first Marquis passed into the hands of his granddaughters, co-heiresses of his son, the second and last Marquis. These included as their most important item two copies of a MS. containing Memoirs of his own Life, by the Marquis himself. Of these one copy is believed to have been burnt by his old friend, Lord Nottingham, the father-in-law of the second Marquis. The second was, it is said, destroyed in the eighteenth century, by one of his granddaughters, at the instance of the poet Pope, who considered them too critical of his own (the Roman Catholic) Church.

The remaining papers eventually passed by marriage into the custody of two great families, Devonshire and Spenser; whose representatives in 1897 most courteously and generously placed them at the disposal of the present writer. Permission to use the . . .

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