Arabella Stuart by G P R James Page 1 of 501
SIR GEORGE F. SEYMOUR, C.B. G.C.H.
My Dear Sir,
If the dedication of a work like the present could afford any adequate expression of high respect and regard, I should feel greater pleasure than I do in offering you these pages; but such things have become so common, that, though every one who knows you will understand the feelings which induce me to present you with this small tribute, yet I cannot but be aware that it is very little worthy of your acceptance.
You will receive it, however, I know, with the same kindness which you have frequently displayed towards me, as a mark, however slight, of my gratitude for the interest you have always shown in myself and my works, and as a testimony of unfeigned esteem from one, who can fully appreciate in others higher qualities than he can pretend to himself.
Although I am inclined to believe that the public may judge this one of the most interesting tales I have written, I can take but little credit to myself on that account; for all the principal events are so strictly historical, that little was left to the author but to tell them as agreeably as he could.
The story of the fair and unfortunate Arabella Stuart is well known to every one at all acquainted with English history; and has called forth more than one poem of considerable merit, though, I believe, as yet, has never been made the foundation of a romance. From that story, as it has been told by contemporaries, I have had but very little occasion to deviate, merely supplying a few occasional links to connect it with other events of the time.
In depicting the characters of the various persons who appear upon the scene, however, I have had a more difficult task to perform, being most anxious to represent them as they really were, and not on any account to distort and caricature them.