Britain and the Bulgarian Horrors of 1876

Britain and the Bulgarian Horrors of 1876

Britain and the Bulgarian Horrors of 1876

Britain and the Bulgarian Horrors of 1876

Excerpt

The present volume owes its existence to an interest that captured me in spite of myself. I had planned to skirt the periphery of the agitation which for a time had most of England embroiled, but when I found no entirely satisfactory account of the subject I capitulated to the temptation to study it in some detail. The approach and method have been that of the historian; I have attempted to narrate the origins, course, influence, and decline of a controverted manifestation of public opinion. The task has led me into an investigation of governmental policy and currents of opinion before the agitation began and on into the further problem of the relation of the government and the political parties to the controversy of the day.

The pursuit of the subject has had its difficulties as well as its fascination. The materials used have been necessarily only representative, and they have not afforded answers to several questions that well might arise. I have not found myself warranted in making quantitative statements about public opinion after the manner of our present-day purveyors of information regarding what individuals and classes think. I have not been able to say that there were no prompters behind the scenes of my stage. Nor have I felt confident that I could exclusively attribute this or that action on the part of a hard-pressed government to the agitation. Nor have I been confident exactly how far party loyalty exercised its subtle persuasion on excited judgments and feelings. Yet short of such categorical assays of influences I hope there may be some value as well as interest in . . .

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