Historical Memoirs of my Own Time 2 Volume Set
Sir Nathanial William Wraxall (1751-1831), traveller and writer, served as an MP from 1780 to 1794 and was made a baronet in 1813. Upon publication in 1815, his memoirs were an immediate, though controversial, success: 1,000 copies sold out within five weeks. Accused of libelling a Russian diplomat, and found guilty, Wraxall brought out this second edition later that same year, with the offending passages removed. Volume 1 covers 1772-81, a period of extensive travel, which took him across several European countries, including Portugal, France, Germany and Italy, returning to London in 1780. Volume 2 comprises the majority of the second, and more controversial, part of the work, which covers 1781-4 and Wraxall's early parliamentary years under Lord North's administration. The memoirs make for an entertaining read, and few from the distinguished circles in which the author moved are spared from his merciless facility for description.