Monday, June 18, 2007

Murray/Byron Letters to be Published

More than 170 letters to Lord Byron from his publisher, John Murray, will be published this week by Liverpool University Press, The Times reports. Much of the correspondence, which runs from 1811 through 1822, has never before been published or widely accessible to scholars. The Times notes "The correspondence illustrates Murray’s business acumen in suggesting editorial changes to make his works commercially attractive."

Editor Andrew Nicholson describes the collection as "unique in the annals of publishing," and describes the relationship between the author and his publisher this way: "Murray – deferential and complimentary without being sycophantic, forthright but diplomatic. Byron, flattered, agreeable, bantering, but firm and unyielding." Byron sometimes accepted Murray's suggestions, but frequently stood his ground, replying once "I will have none of your damned cutting & slashing."