Journal of Mary Freman Caesar 1724-1741

Author: Potter, Dorothy
Mary Freman Caesar was part of the literary and political worlds of early Georgian England. She was married in 1702 to Tory politician (and future Jacobite) Charles Caesar. Though primarily concerned with contemporary matters and her correspondence with authors such as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, she also wrote about events as far distant as the reign of Elizabeth I. Scholars, particularly in Jacobite studies and 18th century literature continue to cite portions of the journal, but it has never published in its entirety. This volume contains a biographical introduction and is carefully annotated.


“. . . a valuable historical source. There are very few contemporary documents that give us an insight into the secretive world of the English Jacobite Tories, and Mrs. Caesar’s journal is one of the best. She was well connected, fondly regarded by the leaders of the Tory party and rubbed shoulders with politicians, poets and literati on a daily basis. Her husband was one of the most prominent Tory M.P.s and a pillar of the opposition to Sir Robert Walpole for most of his political career. Thus from the historian’s point of view the very fact that she is so diffuse is positively helpful, as it allows us to get one zealous Tory-Jacobite’s perspective on a great deal more than might be the case with a more rationally composed work. Dr. Potter’s skillful editing is, however, essential in opening up the text; without her careful siting of Mary Caesar’s ramblings in terms of contemporary politics, literature and society the journal would be almost unuseable. In my opinion, this edition will become the standard on Mary Caesar, and will be of value to scholars of eighteenth-century society and politics for the foreseeable future.” – Daniel Szechi

“this is a very important contribution to the study of political history and of women’s writing in the eighteenth century, and as such will be read and consulted by researchers in both fields. . . . The importance of the project lies primarily in its being the first published edition of an interesting and unusual journal so far known only from citation in specialist works. A secondary but also important recommendation is the major advance that the edition makes in identifying and explaining the often obscure references in the text. . . . a very worthwhile and extensively researched piece of work. . . “ – Valerie Rumbold