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Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to the Morning Chronicle, 13 February 1837

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.
Chapter XVII.
Chapter XVIII.
Chapter XIX.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chap. XX.
Chap. XXI.
Chap. XXII.
Chap. XXIII.
Chap. XXIV.
Chap. XXV.
Chap. XXVI.
Chap. XXVII.
Chap. XXIX.
Chap. XXX.
Chap. XXXI.
Chap. XXXII.
Chap. XXXIV.
Chap. XXXV.
Chap. XXXVI.
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Produced by CATH
Albemarle Street, February 13th, 1837.

My attention has been called to an article in your paper of the 14th of January, containing the following extract from Colonel Napier’s reply to the third article in the Quarterly Review, on his ‘History of the Peninsular War.’ *

Sir George Murray only has thrown obstacles in my way, and if I am rightly informed of the following circumstances, his opposition has not been confined to what I have stated above. Mr. Murray, the bookseller, purchased my first volume, with the right of refusal for the second volume. When the latter was nearly ready, a friend informed me that he did not think Murray would purchase, because he had heard him say that Sir George Murray had declared it was not ‘The Book.’ He did not point out any particular error, but it was not ‘The Book,’ meaning, doubtless, that his own production, when it appeared, would be ‘The Book.’ My friend’s prognostic was not false. I was offered just half of the sum given for the first volume. I declined it, and published on my own account, and certainly I have had no reason to regret that Mr. Bookseller Murray waited for ‘The Book,’ indeed, he has since told me very frankly that he had mistaken his own interest.”

In answer to the first part of this statement, I beg leave to say, that I had not, at the time to which Colonel Napier refers, the honour of any acquaintance with Sir George Murray, nor have I held any conversation or correspondence with him on the subject of Colonel Napier’s book, or of any other book on the Peninsular War. In reply to the second part of the statement, regarding the offer for Colonel Napier’s second volume of half the sum (viz. 500 guineas), that I gave for the first volume (namely, 1000 guineas), I

* The article appeared in No. 111 of Quarterly, April 1836.

have only to beg the favour of your insertion of the following letter, written by me to Colonel Napier, upon the occasion referred to.

Albemarle Street, May 13th, 1829.
My dear Sir,

Upon making up the account of the sale of the first volume of ‘The History of the War in the Peninsula’ I find that I am at this time minus £545 12s. At this loss I do by no means in the present instance repine, for I have derived much gratification from being the publisher of a work which is so intrinsically valuable, and which has been so generally admired, and it is some satisfaction to me to find by this result that my own proposal to you was perfectly just. I will not, however, venture to offer you a less sum for the second volume, but recommend that you should, in justice to yourself, apply to some other publishers; if you should obtain from them the sum which you are right in expecting, it will afford me great pleasure, and, if you do not, you will find me perfectly ready to negotiate; and in any case I shall continue to be, with the highest esteem, dear Sir,

Your obliged and faithful servant,
John Murray.

I am confident you will do me the justice to insert this letter, and have no doubt its contents will convince Colonel Napier that his recollection of the circumstances has been incomplete.

I have the honour to be, sir,
Your obedient humble Servant,
John Murray.