Reminiscences of Captain Gronow, formerly of the Grenadier Guards, and M.P. for Stafford: being Anecdotes of the Camp, the Court and the Clubs at the close of the War with France.

Goodreads Review.

Available freely online at Wikisource.

 

The title is accurate. Reading through this book gives the sense of aristocratic people standing around conversing, akin to cocktail parties. This is the strongest impression it left on me, an impression of oral story telling transcribed. Alternatively, it is a dose of the reality before the ‘meritocracy of modernity’ held social apogee, because although a bad businessman is described, it is an uncritical description. Perhaps the 1st 3rd of the book was rather good, after that it declined into small witticisms about forgotten celebrities. Some readers are surely curious about certain poets; Lord Byron, Shelley and others are discussed by their contemporary Cpt. Gronow. Old-fangled language can be collected, quidnunc has entered my own vocabulary. Brevity of chapters enhances a light reading, which is the approach I recommend.

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