The Letters of John Murray to Lord Byron

Edited by Andrew Nicholson

£25.00
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ISBN: 9781846310690

Publication: June 1, 2007

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
This is a critical edition of the collected letters of John Murray to Lord Byron whose works he published. These letters have never been published before, nor indeed (except in rare instances) has access to them ever been granted. They tell us a great deal about Byron’s works and the manner of their publication, and about the aims, literary interest and vicissitudes of his publisher. They reveal the very special (indeed intimate) relationship – unique in the annals of publishing – that existed between the two men, both on a personal level and in their professional and artistic capacities. They show, for instance, to what extent Byron was amenable to Murray’s suggestions as to alterations and revisions in his poetry, and how far Murray was prompted to publish works by authors at Byron’s recommendation (Coleridge’s 'Kubla Khan' and 'Christabel' owe their publication to just such a recommendation). Besides illuminating many other details of historical and literary interest, they throw considerable light on publishing practice at the time, on Murray’s relations with fellow publishers (Blackwood and Constable in Edinburgh and Galignani in Paris, for instance), and with numerous other authors (such as Austen, Hogg, Hunt, Washington Irving, Scott, Madame de Stael), not to mention the vast circle of literati, scientists, travellers and politicians who frequented his drawing room.

Andrew Nicholson was a renowned Byron scholar and the author of several books on the Romantic period. Previous books include Lord Byron: The Complete Miscellaneous Prose (OUP, 1991)

Acknowledgements Preface Editorial Introduction Abbreviations Chronology Plates The Letters Part I: Murray to Byron in England (1811-16) Part II: Murray to Byron abroad (1816-22) Appendix A: How Murray became Byron’s Publisher Appendix B: The Newspaper Attacks on Byron in 1814 Appendix C: Sale Catalogue (1813) Select Bibliography Index A: Murray and Byron Index B: General Index

At a stroke, Nicolson's towering act of scholarship has rendered all existing biographies of Byron obsolete.
  Seven

Nicholas has done his best to piece together what might have occurred.
  Studies in English Literature, Volume 48, Number 4

The annotations make a biography of Byron in themselves – and not only of Byron. The editor’s minuteness throws up scores of fascinating characters, such as Napoleon’s brother Lucien whose epic poem Charlemagne was – of course – published by Murray. Indeed, the notes are more interesting than the text.
  Literary Review

The loving battle between these equal monsters is vividly detailed.
  Literary Review

Wholly original and very impressive in its scope... There is no doubt whatsoever that all Byronists would read this volume, admire and learn from the work that has goneinto it, and be modified in their views by what they read here.
Bernard Beatty  
University of Liverpool

This is a work to which scholars of the Romantic period will refer from the moment it is published, and one whose scholarship will survive for decades. In the literary and cultural sense, a treasure trove.
Paul Douglass  
San Jose State University

A “treasure trove” of fresh insight into Byron and his publisher John Murray.
  The Bookseller

Exemplary...its detail and proxility excelling even Nabokov's famous commentary on Pushkin .... The loving battle between these equal monsters is vividly detailed. The annotations make a biography of Byron in themselves – and not only of Byron. The editor’s minuteness throws up scores of fascinating characters, such as Napoleon’s brother Lucien whose epic poem Charlemagne was – of course – published by Murray. Indeed, the notes are more interesting than the text.
  Literary Review

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

608 Pages

ISBN: 9781846310690

Publication: June 1, 2007

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