LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Wilson Croker to John Murray, 7 May 1828

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.
Chapter XVII.
Chapter XVIII.
Chapter XIX.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chap. XX.
Chap. XXI.
Chap. XXII.
Chap. XXIII.
Chap. XXIV.
Chap. XXV.
Chap. XXVI.
Chap. XXVII.
Chap. XXIX.
Chap. XXX.
Chap. XXXI.
Chap. XXXII.
Chap. XXXIV.
Chap. XXXV.
Chap. XXXVI.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
May 7th, 1828.
Dear Murray,

I return, having read through, the first volume of ‘Horace Walpole’s Letters to Mr. Mason.’ Two of these letters establish, by direct evidence, what the world had all along suspected, that the ‘Heroic Epistle’ and the ‘Postscript’ were written by Mason. They also confute Mr. Pilkington’s notion that Walpole had a considerable share in the composition of the lively Satires, but they leave undecided
my suspicion that Walpole furnished many of the ideas and facts, though Mason supplied all the poetry.

This is the only point of novelty, I had almost said of interest, which we find in these letters. They are the least amusing of Walpole’s. The reason is that he and Mason had at this time no common acquaintance, and hardly any common topic, but Mason’s ‘Life of Gray.’ So that the chit-chat of Society, and the strings of proper names, all set in anecdotes, which adorn his other letters have not a place in these. I dare say the subsequent correspondence improves, but even this volume is very well worthy of the press. There are some particulars about Gray which are still interesting in Walpole’s way of telling them, though Mason has given them to the public in his own way.

I think it a pity that there is not a general edition of Walpole’s letters, with copious notes. Miss Berry could, and I think ought to, do this honour to the memory of her old friend. His letters, I am satisfied, will be the amusement of posterity, as Madame de Sévigné’s are; but a great deal of the wit will be lost, and the whole will become obscure if notes are not (before it is too late) added to explain his allusions, many of which are already dark even to me—a kind of contemporary, for I was fifteen years old when he died.

Yours faithfully,
J. W. Croker.