This work was translated by Joseph McCabe. Quoted from the author's "Preface."
"Duke Ernest II of Saxe-Coberg-Gotha tells us in his reminiscences, which were published in
1892, that no one had yet appeared who had dealt with the life and character of his uncle, the first King of Belgium, as fully and critically as the nature of that remarkable man, a prominent actor in the history of Europe for nearly sixty years, demanded. Even in more recent time no work has been published, since the life of the first two Belgian Kings by Juste, giving a full account of the career of King Leopold I.
The present work itself does not purport to do more than make a contribution to such a biography; as any attempt to write the King's life without access to the carefully guarded, and only partially published, papers in the possession of the English Royal House is bound
to succeed only incompletely. I have, however, had the good fortune to examine a large amount of material that had hitherto been preserved in strict secrecy, including a hundred and thirty-six letters of Leopold I to the Emperor Ferdinand, the Emperor Francis Joseph, the
Archduke John, Prince Metternich, Prince Schwartzenberg, and many others . It is these which have enabled me to contribute to the history of the European policy of the House of Coburg, the large ambition of which only dawned upon me in the course of my work."