The Letters of Lady Palmerston: Selected and Edited from the Originals at Broadlands and Elsewhere

The Letters of Lady Palmerston: Selected and Edited from the Originals at Broadlands and Elsewhere

The Letters of Lady Palmerston: Selected and Edited from the Originals at Broadlands and Elsewhere

The Letters of Lady Palmerston: Selected and Edited from the Originals at Broadlands and Elsewhere

Excerpt

I should not like Mr Briggs to look over the papers in the Evidence Room -- what my brother George gave him leave to publish is quite different, but one cannot be too careful about family papers.' So wrote Lady Palmerston in October 1858 to her agent at Melbourne Hall. I am in whole-hearted agreement with her views about the care that should be exercised about the publication of private papers; therefore, though all the principal persons mentioned in this book have been long dead, I trust that nothing that follows may be found to grieve or offend their descendants who are alive today. With the many hundreds of Lady Palmerston's letters that have been available to me, it has inevitably been a difficult task to decide what to publish and what to omit. I can only hope that my readers will feel that I have exercised my judgment with discretion and discernment. Omissions apart, I have taken few liberties with the text, though I have modernized the punctuation throughout and have reparagraphed many passages; furthermore, here and there I have corrected Lady Palmerston's somewhat unorthodox spelling. But I have made as few amendments as possible, and those I have made are merely designed for more agreeable reading.

Of those who have allowed me the use of manuscripts, I must first and foremost express my great sense of gratitude to Countess Mountbatten of Burma for granting me access to her splendid collection of Lady Palmerston's letters. Some three-quarters of those that follow are in her muniment room at Broadlands: thus it is clear that but for her generosity this book could not be. Furthermore, Lady Mountbatten has allowed me to reproduce some of her paintings as illustrations to my book. For her great kindness I am intensely grateful. I also thank the Broadlands librarian, Mrs Blois, who typed the letters.

My sincere thanks are due to Her Majesty the Queen for her gracious permission to include letters at Windsor Castle; and to Her Majesty's librarian, Sir Owen Morshead, for his advice and . . .

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