The collection of articles deals with individuals, whose reputations in the political, diplomatic and military spheres were made, for good or ill, during the first seven decades of the 18th century. The most widely remembered figures from these years are Sir Robert Walpole, William Pitt, and John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, but I have not included them in my selection because they have been treated in modern biographies, and dominate general histories of the period. Of course, they feature extensively, as key influences on those I do discuss, but they are not at the centre of my accounts. I include 4 longer articles on statesmen, namely James, Earl Stanhope, John, Lord Carteret, Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle, and Henry Pelham, together with briefer accounts of the lives of Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend, Charles, 3rd Earl of Sunderland, and William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath. The soldiers I have considered are John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, John, 2nd Earl of Stair, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, and the Jacobite commander, Lord George Murray.
My main purpose throughout is to make information already in the public domain more accessible, while not infrequently providing my own interpretations. I have looked at contemporary sources which are readily available, such as Hervey’s memoirs, but have depended rather more on scholarly biographies and monographs produced in the intervening years, i.e. secondary sources.

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