Memoirs of Prince Adam Czartoryski and His Correspondence with Alexander I

With Documents Relative to the Prince’s Negociations With Pitt, Fox, and Brougham, and an Account of His Conversations With Lord Palmerston and Other English Statesmen in London in 1832

This is a must read for everyone interested in the European politics during the Napoleonic Era. Prince Adam Czartoryski was crucial in creating the anti-Napoleon coallition between Russia and England. His Memoirs cover his stay in Russia during the last years of the reign of Catherine the Great, his friendship with tsar Alexander I, and his role as Russian foreign minister.

There’s much more to Prince Adam that is presented here. His was a very long life, busy with politics on the European scene. Years after the Vienna Congress he’d be working hard behind the pan-European Spring of the Peoples, 1848. However, even this narrative of his early life is fascinating. Czartoryski was perhaps the only man in history to become a leading stateman in two hostile countries.

You can read the Memoirs in two volumes directly from this page. Below, I quote the preface as a taste of what one might expect inside.


Prince Adam Czartoryski has long been known, and is perhaps still remembered, in England as the friend of Earl Grey, Lord Brougham, and other leading English statesmen of the time of the first Reform Bill, and as the representative and champion of his unhappy country during the thirty years which he passed in exile. His Memoirs, the greater part of which were written from his dictation in occasional hours of leisure in Paris, end at the battle of Austerlitz; they give vivid pictures of the life of the Polish aristocracy during the latter part of the eighteenth century, of the Court of the Empress Catherine, of the assassination of the Emperor Paul, and of the character of Alexander I, who had made Prince Adam his Minister and confidential friend. Of the remainder of his busy and eventful life no detailed history has yet appeared. It is not attempted in the present work to furnish such a history, but only to supplement the Memoirs by diplomatic papers, and other matter hitherto unpublished, which are of especial interest to an English reader. The documents and extracts from private letters and diaries have been copied or translated from the originals in the archives of the Czartoryski family, the introductory chapter is based on facts taken from the late M. B. Zaleski’s excellent biography of the Prince, unfortunately unfinished, and the account of his stay in England after the collapse of the Polish Revolution of 1830-1 is derived from a manuscript work now in preparation, which has been kindly placed at my disposal by M. L. de Gadon, secretary to Prince Ladislas Czartoryski, the son of Prince Adam and the present head of the family. In order to elucidate the text, the Memoirs and other papers have been arranged in order of date, and are connected by a brief narrative of the incidents to which they refer, thus presenting, it is hoped, a clear, if incomplete, survey of the career of a statesman whose distinguished abilities, lofty virtue, and ever-fervent patriotism mark him out as one of the noblest and most striking figures of the century.

Volume I

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Volume II

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