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26 June, 2013
Royalty Restored or London under Charles II|
Preface To First Edition
by Molloy, J. Fitzgerald
|No social history of the court of Charles II. has heretofore been
written. The Grammont Memoirs, devoid of date and detail, and
addressed "to those who read only for amusement," present but
brief imperfect sketches of the wits and beauties who thronged
the court of the merry monarch whilst the brilliant Frenchman
sojourned in England. Pepys, during the first nine years of the
Restoration, narrates such gossip as reached him regarding
Whitehall and the practices that obtained there. Evelyn records
some trifling actions of the king and his courtiers, with a view
of pointing a moral, rather than from a desire of adorning a
To supply this want in our literature, I have endeavoured to
present a picture of the domestic life of a king, whose name
recalls pages of the brightest romance and strangest gallantry in
our chronicles. To this I have added a study of London during
his reign, taken as far as possible from rare, and invariably
from authentic sources. It will readily be seen this work,
embracing such subjects, could alone have resulted from careful
study and untiring consultation of diaries, records, memoirs,
letters, pamphlets, tracts, and papers left by contemporaries
familiar with the court and capital. The accomplishment of such
a task necessitated an expenditure of time, and devotion to
labour, such as in these fretful and impatient days is seldom
bestowed on work.
As in previous volumes I have writ no fact is set down without
authority, so likewise the same rule is pursued in these; and for
such as desire to test the accuracy thereof, or follow at further
length statements necessarily abbreviated, a list is appended of
the principal literature consulted. And inasmuch as I have found
pleasure in this work, so may my gentle readers derive profit
therefrom; and as I have laboured, so may they enjoy. Expressing
which fair wishes, and moreover commending myself unto their love
and service, I humbly take my leave.
J. FITZGERALD MOLLOY.