A Publisher and His Friends: Memoir and Correspondence of the Late John Murray, with an Account of the Origin and Progress of the House, 1768-1843: Volume 1

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This two-volume account of the life and friendships of the publisher John Murray (1778-1843), told largely through his voluminous correspondence, was published in 1891 by Samuel Smiles (1812-1904), whose Lives of the Engineers, Self-Help, and other works are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection. Murray was only fifteen when his father, the founder of the famous firm, died, but after a period of apprenticeship he took sole control of the business, becoming the friend as well as the publisher of a range of the most important writers of the first half of the nineteenth century, in both literature and science. Perhaps his most famous author was Lord Byron, whose memoir of his own life, considered unpublishable, was burned in the fireplace at Murray's office in Albemarle Street, London. Volume 1 commences with the beginnings of the firm in Scotland, and takes the story up to 1818.