Walpole, Horace ___ 1717-1797 ___ British ___ writer, antiquary
Horace was born in London, the fourth son of Sir Robert Walpole, Prime Minister in the 1720s and 1730s, by his first wife. He was educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, before taking the Grand Tour with his friend Thomas Gray. On returning to England in 1741, he became an MP, and remained one for over 25 years. He spent the first half of the 1740s with his father in London or at the family seat at Houghton, Norfolk, where a collection of paintings inspired some of his writing. In 1747 (his father having died in 1745), Walpole moved to Strawberry Hill, a small house in Twickenham, which he rebuilt over the next 30 years in the style of a Gothic castle. Also at Strawberry Hill, he established a small press which published many of his own works and some of Gray's poetry. Walpole, who never married, became the 4th Earl of Orford in 1791. Although he produced much writing of varied types, including the novel 'The Castle of Otranto', he is most famous for his collection of more than 3,000 letters, written with grace, wit and an acute sense of friendship, which are considered to provide an excellent survey of the history, manners and tastes of the age. Horace Walpole also wrote a fairly factual diary which was published in various volumes.
A biography link
DIARY DATES, CONTENT DESCRIPTORS
1751-1789 ___ political travel society art nature commerce royalty
WEB TEXT LINKS
ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT LINKS
SOME PUBLISHED TITLES
Memoirs of the Reign of King George the Second
Journal of the Reign of King George the Third
May 2005, August 2008, April 2013
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IMPORTANT NOTES AND CAUTIONS: 1) The first line of basic information may be incomplete in several ways: some historical figures have different names (titles, pen-names); their birth and death dates may be unknown or uncertain (g - guess, c - circa); similarly, their occupations may be unknown, or they may have had other jobs; and, for early diarists, I've used 'British' a bit too freely. 2) The biographical summary may not be accurate. It was compiled quickly from various sources, mostly on the internet, and the facts were not checked anywhere near as rigorously as they would have been if they'd been intended for publication in a printed form. 3) The journal dates and descriptors (which are in no particular order) must be treated with caution: since I have not examined the diaries myself, the descriptors are only guesses based on bibliographies, anthologies and internet biographies. 4) For the biography and etext links, I have ignored any sites with charges, and I have avoided, wherever possible, those with pop-ups or too much advertising. I have limited myself to providing three etext links where there is some variety between them. 5) For the original manuscript links, I have limited myself to providing a maximum of two (although, for a few diarists, their original diaries are held in more than two places). 6) I have provided the titles - chosen randomly - for up to three printed editions of the diaries.