A poet and banker who knew everybody, Samuel Rogers (1763-1855) was a brilliant recorder of things said by his famous and powerful contemporaries, from Edmund Burke to Talleyrand, from Charles James Fox to the Duke of Wellington. He was all ears, very good at hearing what was said, and assiduous about recording it in a kind of laconic shorthand. Originally published in the 1830s, but not edited since then, his energetic, entertaining, and occasionally eye-popping "table-talk" gives phenomenal texture to our understanding of Regency high life. Reading it is like eavesdropping on the past. Introduced by the distinguished literary critic Professor Christopher Ricks.
Sir Christopher Ricks is a British literary critic and scholar. He is the William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of Humanities at Boston University and was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford from 2004 to 2009. He is the immediate past-president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. W. H. Auden described Ricks as 'exactly the kind of critic every poet dreams of finding'.