Alexander William Kinglake: Crimean War papers

Scope and Content

1. Letters from Sir Richard Airey to Lord Hardinge, 1854-1856.

2. Letters (copies) from Lord Hardinge to Airey, 1854-1855.

3. Letters from the Earl of Cardigan to A.W. Kinglake, 1863-1868.

4. Journal of W.G. Romaine, 1855-1856.

5. Letters, memoranda and other papers collected by Kinglake.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander William Kinglake (1809-1891) trained as a barrister, but was more interested in literature. He became famous after the publication of Eothen in 1844, a narrative of his travels in the Middle East. He was fascinated by military action, and went to Algeria in 1845 to witness the French campaign. In August 1854 he set off from London to follow the British Army to the Crimea, where he witnessed the Battle of the Alma (20 September), before falling sick and leaving for England on 18 October. After Lord Raglan's death in 1856, he was asked by Lady Raglan to write the history of the Crimean War, and was given the use of Lord Raglan's papers. The task occupied most of the rest of his life, and resulted in The invasion of the Crimea, published in eight volumes, 1863-1887. For this work, Kinglake interviewed and corresponded with many of the participants in the campaign and obtained detailed accounts of battles and manoeuvres.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased at Sotheby's, 17 December 1998.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

There is a detailed description of the collection in the Additional Manuscripts Catalogue, available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Custodial History

The papers were presented to the Fusiliers Museum in Lancashire by Major Ben Smythe in 1934, and were sold on behalf of the Museum's Appeal Fund at Sotheby's in 1998.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other letters and papers of A.W. Kinglake, including some Crimean War material, MS.Add.7633.


Geographical Names