LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Thomas Moore, 24 May 1831

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 24th, 1831.

The cross letter, as you term it, did not reach me until this morning, and, from the manner in which the subject of it had been previously settled, I should not have thought it necessary to allude to it again, were it not for the interference of your “advising” friends.

This is not a solitary instance in which some of them have with morbid liberality evinced a kind disposition to give large sums of money to their own friends, to be paid by drafts, not upon their own bankers, but upon mine. Would these honorary patrons of men of letters enquire
into facts, they would sometimes be startled into the meritorious selfishness of making the case their own; and then before they ventured to impugn the liberality of others, they would perhaps consider what, in similar circumstances, they would have done themselves. Had these warmhearted friends made enquiries on the present occasion, they would have been informed that the copyright of the ‘
Life of Byron’ was purchased by the following sums, viz.:

1. By discharging the author’s bond to Messrs. Longman, with payment of interest thereon 3020
2. By two bills 1200
3. By Cash 100
4. By remitting what was due from America 300
Interest on the above £3020 for twenty months before the first volume was published, not charged to author, but paid by publisher 250
Besides contributing one half of the work myself by Lord Byron’s letters to his publisher, valued at £2000.
The printing of the work cost bonâ fide 4430
Copyright (as above) 4870
Total receipt, even if the whole were sold 9000
Loss on the first edition to its illiberal proprietor £300

As a mercantile speculation it is hardly to be thought of, and there has been such a hue and cry raised against certain parts of the work, that it is quite a livre defendu in some families; so that the entire sale of the work cannot be depended on.

Let your friends see this statement, and then decide upon the conduct of,

My dear Sir,
Yours most sincerely,
John Murray.