Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone

By Herbert Paul; John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton | Go to book overview

PREFACE

IT does not seem likely that any one, after reading these letters, will question the desirability of their publication. In general they speak for themselves; a few notes have been added to explain allusions which by lapse of time have become obscure; some names and passages, and some letters, have been omitted. After 1885 Lord Acton touched upon questions which are still matters of controversy, and therefore the selection closes with that year. The letters were written to the daughter who lived with Mr. Gladstone from the time of her own birth, in the middle of the last century, to the day of his death, at its close. The idea of publishing a selection of them arose in 1898; and Lord Acton, with certain reservations, assented to it. But it was felt by competent judges that it would be trespassing in Mr. Morley's domain; and Mr. Mor. ley himself was strongly of opinion that the mutilation which at that period would have been necessary, would seriously impair the interest and the significance of the book. So, for the time, the project was abandoned. On the other hand, in the judgment of the eminent authorities to whom the letters were submitted, their value was of such a nature that it was evident they ought to be published as

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Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Preface 5
  • Editor's Preface 7
  • Introductory Memoir 9
  • Letters of Lord Acton 93
  • Index 337
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