London, April 29th 1841.
It is with great satisfaction that I have received the directions of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature of London, to acquaint you that they have lately passed a Resolution, to the effect that the pages of the Journal of their Transactions shall be open to the admission of literary, historical, or archeological Communications from their foreign Members, as well as from other foreigners of eminent distinction in these or similar pursuits, who may be inclined to honor the Society with the result of their learned labours.
You are already aware that this Society was founded in the year 1825 by a Royal Charter granted by His Majesty George IV., for the purposes of promoting literature in its various branches – and (besides a special attention to the improvement of our own language,) to read and give to the public the papers of our correspondents and contributors, on history, philosophy, poetry, philology and the fine arts: – it is in furtherance of these objects, that the Council have deemed it right to invite you to contribute to their pages any Essays, Notes, Memoirs, or critical or historical notices, which you may at present have at hand, and which are destined to be given to the public through any other channel: – if in the French or Italian languages, the communications would probably be printed in the language in which they are written: – if in German, Spanish, or Portuguese, the Council of the Society will be prepared to have them translated into English at their own expence: – and in all cases the author will be entitled to receive twenty copies of his works as his exclusive property. These copies will be delivered gratis at any place in London, which the author may be pleased to indicate either to the Secretary of the Society, or to me.
In making known to you this determination of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, I am farther commanded to state to you that the particular objects, to which the attention of the Society has hitherto been chiefly directed, have been – the Elucidation of antient Monuments, whether Medals, Vases, or Statues – disquisitions on points of antient Geography, and of Classical History, and Archæology in general – speculations on the hieroglyphical language of Egypt, the Chronology of its several Royal Dynasties, and the age  of its most celebrated Monuments: the illustration of antient Greek and Latin Inscriptions, and whatever may tend to increase our knowledge of the history and progress of the developement of the human intellect, and bearing in any important respect on the languages, the customs, the fables, the fine arts of civilized nations – the course of events which have brought man to his present state of existence, and the developement of those more prominent characters, which in the succeeding epochs of the world, have had a directing influence over the fortunes of nations.
However general and extensive the preceding description may represent the pursuits of the Royal Society of Literature, it is incumbent upon us still to remind you that our watchword is Literature itself; the advancement of Literature is the polar star of the Institution: and this will be quite sufficient to point out to you the nature of the communications we shall be happy to receive from you: and as far as practicable, to give a place to, in our periodical publications.
It is needless to say, that with respect to the expediency of publishing or not, the Council of the Society must of course be the sole judge; and in the case of non-publication, the memoir or paper in question will be placed at the authorʼs disposal.
I have only further to add, that the Royal Society of Literature will be happy to receive from you from time to time such brief notices as you may think it desirable to communicate to the English Public, respecting the more recent literary publications and discoveries on subjects congenial to their pursuits, which may have appeared within the limits of your own personal observation.
Amongst the principal productions of the English press within the last year, we would particularly recommend to your attention: –
1. The Third Part or Volume of „The Antiquities of Ionia“, published by the Society of Dilettanti: – this Volume is confined to the history and remains of Cnidus and Aphrodisias in Canà, and of Patara on the coast of Lycia: the literary and historical portion of it has been composed by Colonel Leake, and Mr W. R. Hamilton, Members of the Society, whilst the direction of the architectural and other Engravings, and the description of the Plates, were confided to the late Mr Wm Wilkins, also a Member of the Society, and Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy. This gentleman died before the completion of the Volume, and the description of the six last Plates was undertaken by Mr Deering, also a Member of the same Society, and by whom a large portion of the original materials for „The Antiquities of Ionia“ had been collected, during his travels in that country, under the auspices of the Society of Dilettanti.
 2. The second Volume of the Revd Dr Thomas Arnoldʼs History of Rome, which is based on the researches of Niebuhr, was also published last year. It comprises the period between the years 365 and 513 of the Republic, that is, from the Restoration of the City, after the retreat of the Gauls, to the conclusion of the Punic War. It therefore contains, besides other events of lasting importance, the details of the hostilities carried on by the Romans against the Samnites, Lucanians, and Etrurians, and a full account of the tumults and violent state of parties on the passing of the Agrarian Law proposed by Marcus Curius Dentatus, about the year 464, one of the most obscure periods in the history of Rome. Dr Arnold maintains throughout his work the dignity of a truly philosophical historian, most ingeniously combined with extreme clearness of ideas, and simplicity of expression.
3. „The Philosophy of The Inductive Sciences“ by the Revd Willm Whewell, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Cambridge, is a work of the highest order of merit. It is intended as an application of the Plan of Baconʼs Novum Organum, to the present condition of physical science; and it goes far to complete the system of Baconian Instruction, commenced by the History of the Inductive Sciences published in the previous year.
4. The three last Volumes of Mr Hallamʼs Introduction to the History of the Literature of Europe during the 15th 16th and 17th centuries, were completed and published in 1839: as was also,
5. Mr Fellowesʼs Journal of a Tour in Asia Minor, which is embellished by many beautiful drawings of monuments of antient architecture and sculpture, which that gentleman discovered on and near the coast of Lycia in 1838: and I am happy to add that another Journey which Mr Fellowes has since made to the same country, has been equally, if not more productive of new discoveries in the department of Archæology there, and a large collection of Greek and Lycian Inscriptions, which Mr Fellowes met with in his travels, are in the press, and will shortly be published.
6. The History of India, by Mr M. Elphinstone, is a work of great research, and bears the stamp of being the production of an experienced statesman, one profoundly versed in the languages and customs of the East, and of an enlightened scholar.
7. The Travels of Lieutt Wood to the sources of the Oxus have been received with great satisfaction, as presenting the results of an expedition  conducted successfully by an enterprizing and scientific Officer, and as opening to the European public a large tract of country hitherto unknown, but connected geographically and politically with frontiers of the Indian, Persian, and Russian Empires.
Colonel Leake has in the press a new Edition of his „Topography of Athens“, which will contain much new and important matter, the result of the late discoveries consequent upon the improvements and rebuilding of that city.
I have the honor to subscribe myself,
with the highest consideration,
Your very obedt humble Servt
W. R. Hamilton.
Foreign Secretary to the
Royal Society of Literature.
a Mons. W. A. von Schlegel