It must be understood that, although the series of volumes was prepared under the authority, and is now issued with the sanction, of the Foreign Ofﬁce, that Office is not to be regarded as guaranteeing the accuracy of every statement which they contain or as identifying itself with all the opinions expressed in the several volumes; the books were not prepared in the Foreign Office itself, but are in the nature of information provided for the Foreign Office and the British Delegation.
The books are now published, with a few exceptions, substantially as they were issued for the use of the Delegates. No attempt has been made to bring them up to date, for, in the ﬁrst place, such a process would have entailed a great loss of time and a prohibitive expense; and, in the second, the political and other conditions of a great part of Europe and of the Nearer and Middle East are still unsettled and in such a state of ﬂux that any attempt to describe them would have been incorrect or misleading. The books are therefore to be taken as describing, in general, ante-bellum conditions, though in a few cases, where it seemed specially desirable, the account has been brought down to a later date.
G. W. PROTHERO,
General Editor and formerly
Director of the Historical Section.