Murray, John

PUBLISHER (SCOTLAND)
BORN 27 Nov 1778, London: 32 Fleet Street - DIED 27 Jun 1843, London
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (075/IR (4236))

Son of John MacMurray, who founded the John Murray publishing house in Fleet Street, London. When he was almost fifteen his father died. In 1803 he ended the partnership with Samuel Highley, who had cooperated with his father.

He published Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Jane Austen and Robert Southey and his courage as a published caused Byron to call him 'the Anak of publishers', referring to Anak in "The Book of Numbers".

In 1809 he started the "Quarterly Review", edited by William Gifford. In 1812 he bought William Miller's publishing house and he moved to 50 Albermarle Street. There he was visited by most of the great authors of his time and at his home the first meeting between Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott took place.

When Byron was exiled in Italy Murray continued to publish his work and their letters show a close friendship. After Byron's fifth canto of "Don Juan" Murray (who was a tory) stopped publishing his work for political reasons, but it was at his place that Byron's memoire were burnt after the dead of the poet in 1824.

Related persons
• published work by Austen, Jane
• was a friend of Byron, George Noel Gordon
• published work by Byron, George Noel Gordon

Events
1815/12/0: Jane Austen's "Emma" is published
John Murray was the publisher.
1817/12/0: Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion" are published as a set
The publisher was John Murray. Jane had died earlier that year and for the first time she was identified as the author. Sales started strong, but weakened soon afterwards. In 1820 Murray destroyed the unsold copies.
1824/5/17: Lord Byron's memoirs are burnt
It was to protect his reputation (and that of his publisher John Murray) after his death and took place in the drawing room of John Murray in Albermarle Street, London. Present were Murray, John Cam Hobhouse, Thomas Moore. Several people had read them before they were burnt and Mary Shelley stated there she had read them in Venice and that there was nothing much in it.

Sources
Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
John Murray (1778-1843)
John Murray (1778–1843) - Wikipedia

Images

The grave of John Murray at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (26 Jun 2009)

 

The grave of John Murray at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (08 Feb 2012)

 


Musset, Alfred de

Published: 6 Aug 2010
Last update: 16 Apr 2017