John Murray (publisher, born 1778)

Last updated

John Murray II
John Murray b1788.jpg
Mezzotint portrait of Murray
Born
John Samuel Murray

(1778-11-27)November 27, 1778
London, England
DiedJune 27, 1843(1843-06-27) (aged 64)
NationalityScottish
OccupationPublisher
Spouse
Anne Elliot [note 1]
(m. 1807)
Children John Murray III
Parent
John Murray John Murray.jpg
John Murray

John Murray (27 November 1778 – 27 June 1843) was a Scottish publisher and member of the John Murray publishing house. He published works by authors such as Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Jane Austen and Maria Rundell. [1]

Contents

Life

The publishing house was founded by Murray's father, who died when Murray was only fifteen years old. During his adolescence, he ran the business with a partner Samuel Highley, but in 1803 the partnership was dissolved. [2] Murray soon began to show the courage in literary speculation which earned for him later the name given him by Lord Byron of "the Anak of publishers", a reference to Anak in the Book of Numbers.

In 1807 Murray took a share with Archibald Constable in publishing Sir Walter Scott's Marmion . In the same year, he became part-owner of the Edinburgh Review , although with the help of George Canning he launched in opposition the Quarterly Review in 1809, with William Gifford as its editor, and Scott, Canning, Robert Southey, John Hookham Frere and John Wilson Croker among its earliest contributors. Murray was closely cooperated with Constable, but ended the association in 1813 due to Constable's business methods that did not work properly.

In 1811, the first two cantos of Lord Byron's Childe Harold were brought to Murray by Robert Charles Dallas, to whom Byron had presented them. Murray paid Dallas 500 guineas for the copyright. In 1812, he bought the publishing business of William Miller (1769–1844), and migrated to 50 Albemarle Street. Literary London flocked to his house and Murray became the centre of the publishing world, regularly hosting meetings between authors and friends in his drawing-room. [1] It was in his drawing-room that Scott and Byron first met, and here, in 1824, after the death of Lord Byron, that the manuscript of his memoirs, considered by Gifford unfit for publication, was destroyed. A close friendship existed between Byron and his publisher, but for political reasons business relations ceased after the publication of the fifth canto of Don Juan . Murray paid Byron some £20,000 for his various poems. To Thomas Moore he gave nearly £5,000 for writing the life of Byron, and to George Crabbe £3,000 for Tales of the Hall.

He is referred to in Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell , and is played by John Sessions in its television adaptation.

In Fiction

The character Prester John in John Paterson's Mare, James Hogg's allegorical satire on the Edinburgh publishing scene, is based on John Murray. [3]

See also

Notes

  1. Daughter of Edinburgh publisher and bookseller Charles Elliot. [1]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Blackwood</span>

William Blackwood was a Scottish publisher who founded the firm of William Blackwood and Sons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Archibald Constable</span> Scottish publisher, bookseller and stationer

Archibald David Constable was a Scottish publisher, bookseller and stationer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Hogg</span> Scottish poet and novelist (1770–1835)

James Hogg was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorised biography. He became widely known as the "Ettrick Shepherd", a nickname under which some of his works were published, and the character name he was given in the widely read series Noctes Ambrosianae, published in Blackwood's Magazine. He is best known today for his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. His other works include the long poem The Queen's Wake (1813), his collection of songs Jacobite Relics (1819), and his two novels The Three Perils of Man (1822), and The Three Perils of Woman (1823).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey</span>

Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey was a Scottish judge and literary critic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Ballantyne</span> British publisher

James Ballantyne (1772–1833) was a Scottish solicitor, editor and publisher who worked for his friend Sir Walter Scott. His brother John Ballantyne (1774–1821) was also with the publishing firm, which is noted for the publication of the Novelist's Library (1820), and many works edited or written by Scott.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Murray (publishing house)</span> English publishing firm (est. 1768)

John Murray is a British publisher, known for the authors it has published in its long history including, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Byron, Charles Lyell, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Herman Melville, Edward Whymper, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, and Charles Darwin. Since 2004, it has been owned by conglomerate Lagardère under the Hachette UK brand. Business publisher Nicholas Brealey became an imprint of John Murray in 2015.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Murray, Lord Murray</span>

Sir John Archibald Murray of Henderland, Lord Murray, FRSE (1778–1859) was a Scottish judge and Senator of the College of Justice.

<i>Marmion</i> (poem) Poem by Sir Walter Scott

Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field is a historical romance in verse of 16th-century Scotland and England by Sir Walter Scott, published in 1808. Consisting of six cantos, each with an introductory epistle, and copious antiquarian notes, it concludes with the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

<i>Quarterly Review</i> British literary and political periodical

The Quarterly Review was a literary and political periodical founded in March 1809 by London publishing house John Murray. It ceased publication in 1967. It was referred to as The London Quarterly Review, as reprinted by Leonard Scott, for an American edition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Francis Horner</span>

Francis Horner FRSE was a Scottish Whig politician, journalist, lawyer and political economist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lord Byron</span> English Romantic poet and lyricist (1788-1824)

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, simply known as Lord Byron, was an English poet and peer. One of the leading figures of the Romantic movement, Byron is regarded as one of the greatest English poets. He remains widely read and influential. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narrative poems Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Murray III</span>

John Murray III (1808–1892) was a British publisher, third of the name at the John Murray company founded in London in 1777.

John Wright (1770?–1844) was an English bookseller, author, editor and publisher.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hugh Murray (geographer)</span> Scottish geographer and author

Hugh Murray FRSE FRGS (1779–1846) was a Scottish geographer and author. He is often referred to as Hew Murray.

Scottish literature in the nineteenth century

Scottish literature in the nineteenth century includes all written and published works in Scotland or by Scottish writers in the period. It includes literature written in English, Scottish Gaelic and Scots in forms including poetry, novels, drama and the short story.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Byron's letters</span>

The letters of Lord Byron, of which about 3,000 are known, range in date from 1798, when Byron was 10 years old, to 9 April 1824, a few days before he died. They have long received extraordinary critical praise for their wit, spontaneity and sincerity. Many rate Byron as the greatest letter-writer in English literature, and consider his letters comparable or superior to his poems as literary achievements. They have also been called "one of the three great informal autobiographies in English", alongside the diaries of Samuel Pepys and James Boswell. Their literary value is reflected in the huge prices collectors will pay for them; in 2009 a sequence of 15 letters to his friend Francis Hodgson was sold at auction for almost £280,000.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Byron's Memoirs</span>

Byron's Memoirs, written between 1818 and 1821 but never published and destroyed soon after his death, recounted at full-length his life, loves and opinions. He gave the manuscript to the poet Thomas Moore, who in turn sold it to John Murray with the intention that it should eventually be published. On Lord Byron's death in 1824, Moore, Murray, John Cam Hobhouse, and other friends who were concerned for his reputation gathered together and burned the original manuscript and the only known copy of it, in what has been called the greatest literary crime in history.

The Pilgrims of the Sun is a narrative poem by James Hogg, first published in December 1814, dated 1815. It consists of four cantos, totalling somewhat less than 2000 lines. In similar vein to 'Kilmeny' in The Queen's Wake (1813), it tells of a young woman's journey to an ideal world and her return to earth.

Mador of the Moor is a narrative poem by James Hogg, first published in 1816. Consisting of an Introduction, five cantos, and a Conclusion, it runs to more than two thousand lines, mostly in the Spenserian stanza. Set in late medieval Scotland, it tells of the seduction of a young maiden by a charismatic minstrel and her journey to Stirling in search of him, leading to the revelation that he is the king and finally to their marriage and the christening of their son.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The John Murray Archive</span>

The John Murray Archive is a collection of 234 years' worth of manuscripts, private letters, and business papers from various notable, mostly British, authors including correspondence between Mary Shelley and Lord Byron, and letters of Jane Austen and Charles Darwin. The Archive consists of over a million items, valued at more than £100 million, and is kept at the National Library of Scotland (NLS) in Edinburgh, Scotland.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "John Murray II (1778-1843)". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  2. Garnett, Richard (1894). "Murray, John (1778-1843)"  . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . Vol. 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. Hogg, James (2020). Hunter, Adrian; Leonardi, Barbara (eds.). Contributions to English, Irish, and American periodicals. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 19–34, 213. ISBN   9780748695980.