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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
William Jerdan to John Taylor, 8 February 1816

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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Produced by CATH
“Little Chelsea, 8th February, 1816.

Mr. Carstairs [the printer, and a sorely troubled one] and others, bringing numerous verbal messages, and communications of various kinds from you to me, to my great annoyance and interruption, I think it right to state to you explicitly that, receiving the treatment I have received and am daily experiencing from you, I feel no inclination either to submit to your caprices, or to relax one iota from the privilege I possess as editor of the ‘Sun,’ in order to insert things merely agreeable to your personal connections. Provoked as I am, I have chalked out for myself a course, the basis of which is to have no intercourse with you which I can possibly avoid. This want of concert you have forced by bitter persecution and continued ill-usage; and if you feel its effects, you know where the blame lies. You one day tell me that such a man abhors me, and glory in having caused him so to do, and the next ask me to insert some puff of this very person in the ‘Sun.’ Yourself abuse and calumniate me grossly, and yet you come to me to give place to matters in which you alone are interested. What opinion have you of human nature, to suppose that insult and enmity are to beget a return of courtesy and friendship? Once for all, I will not be so sported with,

hear) when there was no occasion. So, when he had finished his speech, he went across the flure to ascertain who had affronted him in this fashion, and Alderman ——— was pointed out as the party. “Upon which,” said Dick, “as it was only an alderman, it was impossible for a gentleman to resent it; and so I just gave the poor devil a look, and tauld him he had better never cry ‘hare, hare,’ again when I was addressing the cheair.”

and to put an end to the teazing repetition of messages on such subjects, whatever I find objectionable I will instantly destroy, and insert only what appears to me to be for the good of the concern; so now you know under what terms you send anything ‘For the Sun.’

“The gradual fall of the paper, in spite of my incessant labour at a task too heavy for one person, the advantage taken to throw a burthen upon me individually, wherever I have endeavoured to promote the general benefit, the insidious and despicable misrepresentations to which my best exertions are liable, have left me but one line of conduct, viz., to steer as clear as I can of you, to continue to do my duty diligently and faithfully, and to witness with regret that ruin of the ‘Sun’ which existing circumstances render inevitable. You were originally abundantly forewarned of the consequence of your laborious exertions to injure a person whose situation rendered it so necessary to your interests that you should have pursued an opposite course, but malice and folly combined mastered the good advice; you now feel a part of the result. Be warned once more; it may be yet time to redeem a little, and save from utter wreck. Could you reverse the injunction in Chancery, it will destroy the ‘Sun’ in a fortnight. Should any one of your causes come on, remember I have told you candidly, your short-hand writer may give a dangerous publicity to some falsehoods put into the mouth of counsel, and thus gratify your pique, but statements will be brought to light which will give a death-blow to the ‘Sun.’ Should you publish one line injurious to me, it shall be met by a notice under which the ‘Sun’ must sink. In brief, I will not permit you to ruin or attempt to ruin me without your reward; and therefore, if you regard the concern in which you have embarked a large property for a man in your
circumstances (I believe not far short of 1400l.), I again advise you to press no further on one who has hitherto, in the hope of a return to reason and justice, been more passive than he will ever be hereafter. Think of the advice, and not of the adviser.

“W. J.”