Cluny wrote this after a year at HBC’s York Factory, attacking the Company for its monopoly and the suspicion they were hiding knowledge of the Northwest Passage.
p. 3-4, the author begins his dedication of the work to George III (1738-1820) by defending his epistolary style: … having been mostly, if not solely accustomed to the epistolary Style, in a Life of Business, I can express my Thoughts more readily, and perhaps more clearly in that, than in any other. Though this were not the Case, there are abundant other Reasons to determine me in this choice.
By this Manner of writing, I have an Opportunity of dividing my Work, so as to avoid the grievious Disadvantage of having the Reader breakoff, perhaps in the middle of my Argument, because he does not see a resting Place prepared for him; the most indolent, or inattentive, seldom having so little Curiosity, or being so soon tired, as to stop before they reach the End of a Letter of moderate Length.
Beside, in this Method, I may myself take the Liberty of stopping a little while, or going a few Steps out of my Way, now and then, to take Notice of any Thing that may illustrate my Subject, or enforce my own Sentiments…,
I mention these Particulars, my Lord, not as unknown to your Lordship, but to obviate the Objection of Vanity, which may probably be made to my using this mode of Writing….