Correspondence of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham: Volume 1

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Famed for his masterful oratory and fearless criticism of parliamentary opponents, William Pitt the Elder (1708-78) distinguished himself through the strong leadership he provided during Britain's struggle against France in the Seven Years' War. Edited by his great-grandsons and first published between 1838 and 1840, this four-volume collection presents nearly forty years' worth of letters to and from the great statesman. Each volume also contains a useful list of the principal officers of state for the period covered, along with facsimile plates of letters and signatures by some of Pitt's eminent correspondents. Volume 1 (1838) covers the period 1741-59, although most of the letters date from 1754 onwards. Pitt's early political career saw him launch attacks on Sir Robert Walpole, contributing to the latter's resignation in 1742. Once Pitt had himself taken up the reins of power, the annus mirabilis of 1759 marked a high point of his wartime strategy.