FOX Charles James - Autograph Letter Signed 1802 while visiting Paris
Charles James FOX (1749-1806)
Autograph Letter Signed (“C.J. Fox”) to General de Grave, making arrangements for an excursion to St. Cloud.
1 page 4to in French with integral address panel, n.p. [Paris], Sunday 11 o’clock in the evening [29 August 1802].
Trans: “Having thought through the matter, we think it would be better to dine at St. Cloud after having seen the house, then visit the garden . . . and return after sunset. So please be good enough to come here a little before two o’clock and we will go together, there is space for you in our berline.”
The Peace of Amiens in 1802 attracted a great many English visitors to Paris, including Charles James Fox as well as his nephew, Lord Holland. Fox had been a supporter of the revolution, and was an admirer of Napoleon. However, his first port of call upon arrival in Paris was the National Archives, where he spent time researching for his biography of James II.
Fox, accompanied by his wife and a small party, including General de Grave, was unable to visit the interior of St. Cloud in the end, but is said to have very much enjoyed the gardens. Fox was himself particularly interested in horticulture, and took a keen interest in his own gardens at St. Ann’s Hill.
General de Grave, who joined them on the day, had briefly served as a minister in the early days of the revolution, but soon retired. At the time, he was described as good-natured but unfit for the difficult tasks facing him.
A few days after this excursion, Fox found himself in far grander surroundings when he met Napoleon, who greeted him with great warmth.
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