The Despatches of Earl Gower

The Despatches of Earl Gower

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Excerpt from The Despatches of Earl Gower: English Ambassador at Paris From June 1790 to August 1792, to Which Are Added the Despatches of Mr. Lindsay and Mr. Monro, and the Diary of Viscount Palmerston in France During July and August 1791, Now Published for the First Time

I first became acquainted with the despatches of Lord Gower, which are printed in this volume, some years ago, when I was working in the Record Office on the foreign policy of the younger Pitt. They appeared to me, as soon as I read them, of great historical interest, and well fitted to be published. I therefore informed two leading London publishers of their existence and asked them whether they would undertake to print them, offering to see them through the press. The first publisher to whom I applied refused at once, saying that correspondences were a glut in the market; the second took a little time to consider, but eventually declined. Shortly after this, when I was pursuing my researches in the French Foreign Office, I was informed by two of the best authorities on the French Revolution, M. Henri Taine and M. Albert Sorel, that Lord Gower's despatches had been read by competent Frenchmen and had been declared to be of high value; and that their publication would be an important contribution to historical study. Armed with this testimony I applied to a third London publisher, sending him a specimen of the letters.

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