The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

II. Historians, Biographers and Political Orators

§ 63. The Croker Papers

The Croker Papers, not published till 1884, when nearly a generation had passed after John Wilson Croker’s death (1857), and more than half a century since his retirement from active public life (1832) throw a great deal of light upon the bitter party conflicts of the twenty-two years during which he held the secretaryship to the admiralty. In this office, his first important task was to defend the Walcheren expedition; but attack rather than defence was his métier. He was of the inner councils of his party on most of the great political questions of these years, and among the unconvinced opponents both of parliamentary reform and the repeal of the corn-laws. But his chief services to the conservatives (he was the inventor of this name, scouted by Disraeli, who had no love to spare for him) were rendered in the pages of The Quarterly Review. The Croker Papers, which are held together by a very thin biographical thread, derive their chief interest from the letters comprised in them from the duke of Wellington, lord George Bentinck and others, and from Croker’s occasional journal addressed to his patron, the marquis of Hertford.