It is a biographical book. This work has been undertaken principally from a conviction that it is the performance of a duty which, to the best of my ability, it is incumbent on me to fulfil. Though even on this ground I cannot appeal to the forbearance of my readers, I may venture to refer to a peculiar difficulty which I have experienced in dealing with Lord Macaulay’s private papers. To give to the world compositions not intended for publication may be no injury to the fame of writers who, by habit, were careless and hasty workmen; but it is far otherwise in the case of one who made it a rule for himself to publish nothing which was not carefully planned, strenuously laboured, and minutely finished. Now, it is impossible to examine Lord Macaulay’s journals and correspondence without being persuaded that the idea of their being printed, even in part, never was present to his mind; and I should not feel myself justified in laying them before the public if it were not that their unlaboured and spontaneous character adds to their biographical value all, and perhaps more than all, that it detracts from their literary merit. To the heirs and relations of Mr. Thomas Flower Ellis and Mr. Adam Black, to the Marquis of Lansdowne, to Mr. Macvey Napier, and to the executors of Dr. Whewell, my thanks are due for the courtesy with which thhey have placed the different portions of my Uncle’s correspondence at my disposal. Lady Caroline Lascelles has most kindly permitted me to use as much of Lord Carlisle’s journal as relates to the subject of this work; and Mr. Charles Cowan, my Uncle’s old opponent at Edinburgh, has sent me a considerable mass of printed matter bearing upon the elections of 1847 and 1852.