Charles James Fox: A Political Study

The author of this volume is one of many readers in whom Sir George Trevelyan's Early Life of Citarles james Fox excited a sentiment which it is perhaps not an exaggeration to describe as a personal affection for the great Whig states man. The fulfilment of Sir George Trevelyan's promise to continue the story of that life is awaited with eager expecta tion. This book is in no sense a biography. It is an attempt to portray the great ideas Fox stood for, to vindi cate the essential consistency of his career, and to appreciate the magnanimous inspirations he gave to politics. If the aim of the book is not kept in mind, its proportions may strike the reader as unjust. No biographer of Fox could dismiss his early political career with the scant notice given it in these pages; in any study of the part he played in those large controversies that have a permanent interest, a pre ponderating importance must be assigned to the history of the struggle with the King, to the moral issues of the French war, and to the details of a momentous chapter in the relations of England and Ireland. These questions call for a minute treatment in a presentation of Fox as the champion, during the frenzied years of panic, of government by public discussion, and as one of the few Whigs who anticipated the great Liberal doctrine of national rights.

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