BURKE, John (1786–1848), author and genealogist. Autograph letter, signature cut out, to Sir Samuel Edgerton-Brydges at Geneva. 4 sides, 4to, with integral franked address panel, New Burlington St, 8th March 1830. Regarding genealogy, and news of state and literary matters. "I am proceeding with the Extinct Peerage and hope to have it ready for the press within a few months ...... In reference to the last edition of my Peerage and Baronetage, I must throw myself entirely upon your mercy, for I am quite aware that it falls infinitely short of my sting like perfection ...... I shall feel myself much benefited by your judicious suggestions, and I beg that your observations may be free, for I have none of the irritability of authorship about me, and I court criticism because I am anxious to profit by it ...... In Ireland Lord George Beresford has just been returned for the County of Waterford upon the Catholic interest, in opposition to a Catholic candidate ....... Moore’s Byron is the only work of consequence which has appeared ........ The genius of a lyric poet is seldom of that nervous character required to develop the deeds of a great mind or of a great nation: and Moore’s Sheridan too clearly evinced how little he was qualified for this species of writing." The cut signature affects 3 lines of text on the reverse side, and a small piece of paper has been detached by the broken seal.
Burke is noted for his "General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom" first published in 1826, and a series of other classic works, many prepared with his son. In the letter he refers to the 3rd edition of 1830, and to his forthcoming "General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Ireland and Scotland, Extinct, Dormant and in Abeyance", which was published in 1831. His correspondent Sir Samuel Edgerton-Brydges (1762-1837), was an author, literary editor and genealogist, who from 1818 resided on the European mainland. Something of an eccentric, he was known to Jane Austen, whose brother James had courted Brydges' younger sister. Sir Samuel and Jane had little respect for one another, and she said of one of his novels “Never did any book carry more internal evidence of its author.”