The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,070 pages of information about The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 1.
cultivated mind.  On this, as on other occasions, Lord Dover performed his part diligently, judiciously, and without the slightest ostentation.  He had two merits, both of which are rarely found together in a commentator:  he was content to be merely a commentator,-to keep in the background, and to leave the foreground to the author whom he had undertaken to illustrate. yet, though willing to be an attendant, he was by no means a slave; nor did he consider it as part of his editorial duty to see no faults in the writer to whom he faithfully and assiduously rendered the humblest literary offices.”

It remains only to add, that the original notes of Horace Walpole are throughout retained, undistinguished by any signature; whereas, those of the various editors are indicated by a characteristic initial, which is explained in the progress of the work.

January, 1840.

(1) Sketch of the Life, etc.

(2) The coincidence of remarkable names in the two families of Mann and Walpole, would lead one to imagine that there was also some connection of relationship between them-and yet none is to be traced in the pedigree of either family.  Sir Robert Walpole had two brothers named Horace and Galfridus-and Sir Horace Mann’s next brother was named Galfridus Mann.  If such a relationship did exist, it probably came through the Burwells, the family of Sir Robert Walpole’s mother.

(3) “Sir Robert Walpole’s expression, when he found that Pulteney had consented to be made Earl of Bath.”

(4) “Fox was secretary at war.”


To the first edition of Lord Orford’s works, which was published the year after he died, no memoir of his life was prefixed:  his death was too recent, his life and character was too well known, his works
     too popular, to require it.  His political Memoirs, and
the collections of his Letters which have been subsequently published, were edited by persons, who, though well qualified for their task in every other respect, have failed in their account of his private life, and their appreciation of his individual character, from the want of a personal acquaintance with their author.

The life contained in Sir Walter Scott’s Biographical Sketches of the English Novelists labours under the same disadvantages.  He had never seen Lord Orford, nor even lived with such of his intimates and contemporaries in society as survived him.

Lord Dover, who has so admirably edited the first part of his correspondence with Sir Horace Mann, knew Lord Orford only by having been carried sometimes, when a boy, by his father Lord Clifden to Strawberry Hill.  His editorial labours with these letters were the last occupation of his accomplished mind, and were pursued while his body was fast sinking under the complication of disease, which so soon after deprived Society Of One Of its most distinguished members,

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