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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 tale.

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.

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