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BOYER, Abel.

A Letter from a Foreign Minister in England to Monsieur Pettecum.

Containing the True Reasons of the late Changes in the Ministry, and of the Calling a New Parliament: And therefore fit to be perus'd by all the Electors. Translated from the French Original.

London: Printed for J. Baker, 1710 Stock Code: 146794
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First octavo edition. Despite the title, in fact an original work in English, presenting itself as a neutral observation on the fall of the Whig ministry to a European correspondent, in fact a defense of the change in ministry and praising Lord Harley.

The author, though formerly attributed to Robert Walpole (based on Horace Walpole's claims such, although it would be most unexpected for a Tory pamphlet to be authored by Robert), was the Frenchman resident in London, Abel Boyer (1667-1729), lexicographer and journalist, who was patronized by Harley. Francis Hare, Marlborough's first biographer, thought the work so skillful that he attributed it to Harley himself in a pamphlet of 1711. Snyder, however, uncovered a letter from Boyer to Harley, in which he presented the pamphlet and claimed authorship. It is notable that Boyer is usually regarded as a Whig sympathizer, and was evidently seeking to curry favour with the new ministers.

The work was part of the great flood of political pamphlets which occurred in 1710, with Tory writers working to justify the ministerial revolution which brought their party to power, and Whig pamphleteers to defend the actions of their former ministry. It was published both in this octavo edition of 16 pages, and another quarto edition of 8 pages, without any known priority.

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Octavo (204 x 131 mm). Disbound pamphlet, remnants of earlier spine, pages uncut.


Pencilled misattribution of authorship to Robert Walpole on title. An excellent, crisp copy.


ESTC T37789. See Henry L. Snyder, "Daniel Defoe, Arthur Maynwaring, Robert Walpole, and Abel Boyer: Some Considerations of Authorship", in Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 2., 1970, pp. 133-153.


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