LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of John Murray
John Wilson Croker to John Murray, 29 May 1822

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.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
May 29th, 1822.
Dear Murray,

As you told me that you are desirous of publishing the Suffolk volume by November, and as I have, all my life, had an aversion to making any one wait for me, I am anxious to begin my work upon them, and, if we are to be out by November, I presume it is high time. I must beg of you to answer me the following questions.

1st. What shape will you adopt? I think the correspondence of a nature rather too light for a quarto, and yet it would look well on the same shelf with Horace Walpole’s works. If you should prefer an octavo, like Lady Hervey’s letters, the papers would furnish two volumes. I, for my part, should prefer the quarto size, which is a great favourite with me, and the letters of such persons as Pope, Swift, and Gay, the Duchesses of Buckingham, Queensberry, and Marlbro’, Lords Peterborough, Chesterfield, Bathurst, and Lansdowne, Messrs. Pitt, Pulteney, Pelham, Grenville, and Horace Walpole, seem to me almost to justify the magnificence of the quarto; though, in truth, all their epistles are, in its narrowest sense, familiar, and treat chiefly of tittle-tattle.

Decide, however, on your own view of your interests, only recollect that these papers are not to cost you more than ‘Belshazzar,’* which I take to be of about the intrinsic value of the writings on the walls, and not a third of what you have given Mr. Crayon for his portrait of Squire Bracebridge. 2nd. Do you intend to have any portraits? One of Lady Suffolk is almost indispensable, and would be enough. There are two of her at Strawberry Hill; one, I think, a print, and neither, if I forget not, very good. There is also a print, an unassuming one, in Walpole’s works, but a good artist would make something out of any of these, if even we can get nothing better to make our copy from. If you were to increase your number of

* Mr. Milman’s poem, for which Mr. Murray paid 500 guineas. See pp. 105-6.

portraits, I would add the
Duchess of Queensberry, from a picture at Dalkeith which is alluded to in the letters; Lady Hervey and her beautiful friend, Mary Bellenden. They are in Walpole’s works; Lady Hervey rather mawkish, but the Bellenden charming. I dare say these plates could now be bought cheap, and retouched from the originals, which would make them better than ever they were. Lady Vere (sister of Lady Temple, which latter is engraved in Park’s edition of the ‘Noble Authors’) was a lively writer, and is much distinguished in this correspondence. Of the men, I should propose Lord Peterborough, whose portraits are little known; Lord Liverpool has one of him, not, however, very characteristic. Mr. Pulteney is also little known, but he has been lately re-published in the Kit-cat Club. Of our Horace there is not a decent engraving anywhere. I presume that there must be a good original of him somewhere. Whatever you mean to do on this point, you should come to an early determination and put the works in hand.

3rd. I mean, if you approve, to prefix a biographical sketch of Mrs. Howard and two or three of those beautiful characters with which, in prose and verse, the greatest wits of the last century honoured her and themselves. To the first letter of each remarkable correspondent I would also affix a slight notice, and I would add, at the foot of the page, notes in the style of those on Lady Hervey. Let me know whether this plan suits your fancy.

4th. All the letters of Swift, except one or two, in this collection are printed (though not always accurately) in Scott’s edition of his works. Yet I think it would be proper to reprint them from the originals, because they elucidate much of Lady Suffolk’s history, and her correspondence could not be said to be complete without them. Let me know your wishes on this point.

5th. My materials are numerous, though perhaps the pieces of great merit are not many. I must therefore beg of you to set up, in the form and type you wish to adopt, the sheet which I send you, and you must say about how many pages you wish your volume, or volumes, to be. I will then select as much of the most interesting as will fill the space which you may desire to occupy.

Yours truly,
J. W. Croker.