LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The “Pope” of Holland House
John Whishaw to Thomas Smith, 10 April 1815

Chapter I: 1813
Chapter II: 1814
Chapter III: 1815
Chapter IV: 1816
Chapter V: 1817
Chapter VI: 1818
Chapter VII: 1819
Chapter VIII: 1820
Chapter IX: 1821
Chapter X: 1822
Chapter XI: 1824-33
Chapter XII: 1833-35
Chapter XIII: 1806-40
Chapter XIV: Appendix
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
April 10, 1815.

I have abundant reason to be satisfied with the success of my publication, but have been a good deal mortified by finding that some of Park’s friends consider me as having been unjust towards his memory in my observations relative to his connection with Bryan Edwards. My defence is that I undertook to be the biographer of Park, and not to write his panegyric, and that I did not think his conduct
Mungo Park’s Journal
relative to the great question of the Slave Trade, upon which his authority had some influence, could bepassed over entirely without animadversion.1

I am afraid that we shall certainly have war; and there will as certainly be a schism between Lord Grenville and Lord Grey,2 if it has not already taken

1 Mr. Murray wrote to Mr. Whishaw about the reception of his book as follows:—

Dear Sir,—I regret exceedingly that I shall be wholly without the means of satisfying you with the sort of intelligence respecting the Memoir which you appear to expect, as every criticism and opinion that has reached my anxious and interested ear has been most completely favourable.

Gifford and Lord Byron—two persons of opposite tastes and neither of them particularly known to you—have expressed to me their entire satisfaction at its judiciousness and interest of the narrative and its attending remarks, and Sir James Mackintosh is no less pleased with these qualities in it, and is delighted with the ease and elegance of the style in which it is written. Others of less note I have heard speak of it with indiscriminate satisfaction; and as to the comments of Park’s friends, you have too much experience of mankind not to have anticipated the many chances against the possibility of harmonising with the warm but ill-regulated feelings of mere relations.

If your visit be about four o’clock or later, you will probably be rewarded by meeting with Scott or Byron and most likely with both.

I remain, dear Sir,

Your obliged and faithful servant,

2 On the escape of Napoleon differences of opinion arose between Grenville and Grey on the war question. Grenville maintained that it was impossible to keep peace with Napoleon, and that vigorous hostilities should immediately be commenced; while Grey declared that it was the duty of the country and the Allies to do everything which they reasonably could to preserve the peace. A correspondence ensued which led to a division among their followers.

Mungo Park’s Journal
place. The best intelligence from France states that
Buonaparte is making immense preparations; and there is too much reason to believe that he will make it a war of national feeling and honour.