On the Life and Character of Marshal St. Arnaud

Robert Campbell

General Description

Date: 1856
Genre: Prose essay


◦ Arnaud, Jacques Leroy. Lettres du maréchal de Saint-Arnaud, 1832-1854.

Lectures on jurisprudence, or The philosophy of positive law, by the late John Austin. Ed. by Robert Campbell.

◦ Gordon, “Oxford and Cambridge Magazine”.

◦ Houghton, The Wellesley Index, pp. 723-731.

◦ “Robert Calder Campbell”. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

◦ “Lewis Campbell”. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Scholarly Commentary

Guest Editor: PC Fleming


The Wellesley Index lists the author of this essay as Robert Campbell (1832-1912). Campbell would have been of the right age to be at Oxford with the Morris Brotherhood. He later published several essays on legal theory, and edited John Austin’s Lectures on jurisprudence, or The philosophy of positive law.

Walter Gordon gives the author as Robert Calder Campbell (1798-1857). In many ways, Calder Campbell makes more sense as the author of this piece. He was an army officer with the East India Company, and a frequent contributor to various periodicals (DNB). By July, Fulford was having trouble getting the brotherhood to submit enough work to fill the pages of the magazine, and it is possible he brought in professional writers to contribute; see for example The Druid and the Maiden in the November issue.

Lewis Campbell’s father was also named Robert, but he died in 1832. Lewis Campbell wrote an article on Prometheus for the Magazine.

Like Dixon’s The Barrier Kingdoms and The Prospects of Peace, this essay is about the Crimean War. Peace agreements had been reached earlier in 1856, and Campbell here gives a portrait of Jacques Leroy de Saint Arnaud, a French general during the war. An edition of Arnaud’s letters had been published in Paris the year before, edited by Arnaud’s brother, and these letters serve as the primary source for Campbell’s essay. There does not appear to have been an English translation, so presumably Campbell translated the quotations himself. For rhetorical effect, he chooses to leave certain phrases, like “Ma gentille petite fÍlle” (391), untranslated.

English readers in 1856 had been reading accounts of the Crimean war for several years, and much of the subject matter would have been familiar to readers of The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine. The essay ends by discussing Arnaud’s death, of cholera, during the siege of Sebastobol, about which William Fulford wrote a poem for this issue of the magazine.

Printing History

First printed in The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine , July, 1856.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1