Reference > Cambridge History > From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift > Historical and Political Writers > A Letter to Sir William Wyndham
  His Contributions to The Examiner Bolingbroke in France  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

VIII. Historical and Political Writers.

§ 3. A Letter to Sir William Wyndham.


But the five years of office which ensued, the labours, including a journey to France, which resulted in the conclusion of the peace of Utrecht, and the intrigues by which Bolingbroke in vain endeavoured to turn the approaching crisis of the succession to the advantage of the tories left him little time for composition; by the close of March, 1715, he found himself an exile, and, in the following July, in the service of the pretender. It was not till this fatal phase of his career was at an end that he made his first elaborate contribution to political literature. A few months, however, before he wrote the celebrated Letter to Sir William Wyndham—the disciple whom he had left at home behind him—he had composed his Reflections on Exile, published before the close of 1716, when his hopes of pardon and return had again receded. This effort, founded on Seneca’s Consolatio ad Helviam, is stuffed with additional quotations from classical and one or two modern sources, and reads almost like a parody of the classicising essay of the period. Although its style has been held to be Ciceronian rather than Senecan, 5  the writer inveighs against “Tully” for unphilosophically lamenting his exile, though, with a characteristic sneer, it is allowed that “his separation from Terentia, whom he repudiated not long afterwards, was perhaps an affliction to him at the time.”   4

Note 5. Sichel, W., u.s., p. 82. [ back ]

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  His Contributions to The Examiner Bolingbroke in France  
 
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