Philip Dormer Stanhope: Letters To His Godson

(608 words)
  • Christopher Mayo

Owing to the recipients' identical given names and the similarity of method, manner, and matter in the two series of letters, Lord Chesterfield's (Philip Dormer Stanhope, fourth earl of Chesterfield) letters to his son and his letters to his godson often are confused. Chesterfield wrote the former group to his illegitimate son, Philip Stanhope (1732-1768). He wrote the latter group to another Philip Stanhope (1755-1815), Chesterfield's distant cousin, whom he agreed to godfather. To confuse matters, in 1757 Chesterfield legally adopted his godson, making him simultaneously Lord Chesterfield's cousin, godson, and son. To avoid inevitable confusion, scholars have taken up the convention of referring to Chesterfield's illegitimate son as …

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Mayo, Christopher. "Letters To His Godson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 February 2007
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]