French Correspondence of James, 1st Earl Waldegrave (1684-1741)

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This edition contains over 100 mostly unpublished letters written in French to or by James, 1st Earl Waldegrave, who held the post of British Ambassador to France from 1730 to 1740. It provides insight into a transition period in France, a time of intellectual, social and political ferment marked by unstable relations between the major powers. The book will form the basis for a full study of Waldegrave's significant contribution to Anglo-French relations in the first half of the eighteenth century. Letters in French, notes and annotations in English.


"By the nature of his appointments Waldegrave was in contact with Cardinal de Fleury, the First Minister of the crown, and with Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs and for the Navy. . . . No part of Waldegrave's correspondence has yet been published so that Dr. Barrell is breaking new ground here. In his Introduction, Dr Barrell defines the principles he followed in establishing his text. These principles are judicious, they show scrupulous respect for the original manuscript and Dr Barrell follows them rigorously. In his careful annotations he explains textual difficulties, comments on historical circumstances and identifies persons mentioned. The letters are grouped in order of correspondent and ordered chronologically within each group. This arrangement enables the reader to follow a particular discussion with ease and to assess the quality of the relationship that Waldegrave established with each of his correspondents. . . . Prepared with scholarly rigour, this collection of letters provides an intimate glimpse of the conduct of affairs at a time when Anglo-French relations were often strained while being set in a new direction." - Pierre M. Conlon

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