ANY book of this length and density of research is made possible for its author only because of the assistance given by many others. One enormous category of such contributions consists of permission to consult documents held in private hands, and here, for me, the family of Clifford of Chudleigh have led all the rest. The late Baron and the Baroness Dowager, and the present Baron and Baroness, have accorded me a consistent kindness, generosity, and sympathy which could not be surpassed. The result was a wonderful set of archival adventures culminating in the greatest sale of state papers in the history of the world. J. H. Prideaux-Brune and his family, of Prideaux Place, also accorded me a personal interest and hospitality which made my visits to Padstow some of my life's treasured memories. I must also thank Victor Montagu, Esq., and the Honourable John Montagu, for a courtesy and an entertainment which made my time at Mapperton delightful. More formal, but still heartfelt, thanks are due to Her Majesty the Queen, to His Grace the Duke of Devonshire and the Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement, to the Most Honourable the Marquis of Bath, to J. Maxwell-Stuart, Esq., and to the Trustees of the Chiddingstone Castle Estate. In most of these cases, the personal assistance and kindness was provided by archivists, to whom I am also profoundly grateful. Similar thanks are due to most of the staff of the various more public record repositories in which I worked. Of all these, the heaviest burden fell upon that splendid team Vera, Clare, and Helen of the Upper Reading Room of the Bodleian Library.
Another sort of assistance, equally invaluable, was given by bodies which provided funding for the travels in four nations required to carry out the research. Most was granted by the British Academy, and the shortfall made up by the University of Bristol. Without this assistance this book would not so much have been impaired as impossible.
Finally, a group of individuals provided help of a more diverse nature. Lady Antonia Fraser (now Lady Antonia Pinter), my predecessor as a biographer of Charles, gave not only the stimulus of discussion but two key documents, a rare publication and a photocopy, thereby saving me