NY: Harper & Brothers, 1886.
The author was a U.S. diplomat (and army staff officer, and memoirist of Gen. Grant) who was posted to the Court of St. James between 1869 and 1881 — the heyday of stilted Victorian manners and official behavior at court. He says up front that he makes no pretense to scholarship or to the writing of an “exhaustive treatment” but rather intends to relate his own experiences and observations regarding the royal family and peerage of Britain. With special attention, it should be added, to the “most curious and interesting” bits. Being a self-conscious American, he does this with a frequently raised eyebrow regarding what he perceives as the British need for majesty; every Englishman (he says he was told by a government minister of his acquaintance) “needs something to kow-tow to.”