Stewarton, Mr [H].


Exhibiting the Most Distinguished Characters, Literary, Military, and Political. In the Recent Annals of the French Republic. The Greater Part from the Original Information of a Gentleman Resident at Paris. John Murray 1805.
3rd Ed. 3 vols. Sm. 8vo. Half titles present in vol. 1 and 2. Port. frontiss., folding facsimile (repaired to verso). Some light browning, contemporary and modern inscriptions across head of (1 heavily scribbled over to vol. 3.), some light browning, speckled calf, gilt motifs and gilt edged labels to spines, handsome set. Halkett and Laing ‘’Ascribed also to Lewis Goldsmith. The trustworthiness of this work has been questioned.’ Lewis Goldsmith (1763/4?–1846), journalist and political writer, spy. ODNB ‘... Owing to a similarity of title with the Secret History, the anti-revolutionary and anti-Napoleonic works of H. Stewarton have often been falsely attributed to Goldsmith ...’ ‘The Revolutionary Plutarch was published in several editions by John Murray between 1803 and 1806. The title page commends it as “Exhibiting the Most Distinguished Characters, Literary Military and Political, in the Recent Annals of the French Republic, the Greater Part From the Original Information of a Gentleman Resident in Paris”. Dedicated to Edmund Burke and the memory of Louis XVI, its three volumes contain vitriolic attacks on leading personalities of the revolutionary period, on Napoleon and on his family. The book carries no author’s name, though the Bodleian identifies the author as “H. Stewarton”. Several other catalogues and booksellers’ lists refer to the writer as Lewis Goldsmith (1763–1846), turncoat, double agent and author of The Secret History of the Cabinet of Bonaparte (1810), though Simon Burrows, in his entry on Goldsmith in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, states that “the anti-revolutionary and anti-Napoleonic works of H. Stewarton have often been falsely attributed to Goldsmith”. The Murray archives in Edinburgh detail several payments made out to Stewarton at this time. Professor Burrows, whom I have met, and with whom I have corresponded, suspects that he was an émigré, though his name does not appear in any of the relevant databases. My hunch is that he was British, possibly Scottish, and Stewarton a pseudonym. The lack of corroborating evidence for either theory, however, is surprising, bearing in mind the fact that he claims to have served with Moreau in the Army of the Rhine, and at a later period to have been imprisoned in Paris. Murray published a sequel entitled The Female Revolutionary Plutarch in 1806....Robert Fraser TLS.
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