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John Murray


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the son of John Murray I (1745–93), who founded the publishing house still in existence. The second John Murray was one of those who, together with the reviews such as the Edinburgh and the Quarterly, began to substitute for the dying system of personal patronage his own personal encouragement and commercial expertise. He was one of the first publishers, according to T. Dibdin, who treated authors ‘with the respect due to gentlemen’. His publishing house became a social meeting‐place for many of the literary figures of his time, and it is probable that the plan for the founding of the Athenaeum club was devised in his rooms. With the help and encouragement of Sir W. Scott he established the Tory Quarterly Review in 1809. He gave up the London agency of Blackwood's in protest at its attacks on the Cockney school. He was the friend and publisher of Byron, who was his single most important author. Murray bought Byron's memoirs of 1818–21 from T. Moore, and reluctantly consented to having them burned in his grate at Albemarle Street. His other authors included J. Austen, Crabbe, Coleridge, Southey, Leigh Hunt, and Borrow.

The John Murray succession, and the firm's independence, has continued to the present day.

Subjects: Literature

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