Sir Peter le Page Renouf (1822-97), a Guernseyman, was described by Lord Acton as "the most learned Englishman I know". The remarkable collection of his surviving letters covers Renouf's varied career from his days as a student in Oxford, his time as a lecturer in the 1850s at the new Catholic University in Dublin until after his retirement as Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum. The letters in volume three cover Renouf's years in Dublin. He had been invited by John Henry Newman to be a lecturer in French at the opening of the Catholic University, which was later to become University College Dublin. He was subsequently appointed Professor of Ancient History and Geography. In his letters to his family he provides a vivid impression of life in the early years of the university. During this time he married Ludovica Brentano of Aschaffenburg, Germany, niece of the poet Clemens Brentano, and they started a family. On the low salary of the Catholic University, the young couple found it very difficult to make ends meet.
Renouf's talents in Egyptology become apparent and he edited the "Atlantis", the university's own journal, and then helped with the editing of Sir John Dalberg Acton's "Home and Foreign Review". His extensive correspondence with Acton is included in this volume. In 1864, Acton helps to obtain a post for Renouf in England as Inspector of Schools.