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

§ 65. N. W. Senior

A novel form of political memoir—though it had, of course, been previously used for other ends—was that of Conversations with M. Thiers, M. Guziot and other distinguished persons during the Second Empire, recorded by the well-known economist Nassau William Senior and posthumously published in two series, covering together the years 1852 to 1863. Senior’s interlocutors were largely, but not altogether, political opponents of the empire, and they include many literary celebrities; so that the Conversations faithfully mirror the thoughts of the intellectual flower of contemporary France. These volumes had been preceded by Journals kept in France and Italy, and by Correspondence and Conversations of A. de Tocqueville, who pronounced Senior’s the most enlightened of English minds. The rather earlier Journals, Conversations and Essays relating to Ireland (1868) comprise, with reprinted earlier papers on a subject always full of interest to the author, journals of visits to Ireland in 1852, 1858 and 1862, and conversations with people of all sorts whom he met on his travels, up to his former tutor and lifelong friend archbishop Whately.