1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Hogg

John Murray to James Hogg, 24 January 1818; Smiles, A Publisher and his Friends: Memoir of John Murray (1891) 2:4-5.



January 24th, 1818,

MY DEAR SIR,

I do assure you that your kind letter has afforded me very great pleasure; for although our correspondence has been suspended by my own indolence, and no other cause, yet my regard for you has never diminished, and I should much rejoice in any occasion of doing you a service. I shall have great pleasure in taking a share in your new work, and in being its publisher in London. With regard to the projected quarto edition of "The Queen's Wake," I am not sorry that it is at an end; for you will gain more, I think, by one in royal octavo. But I really think that you ought to print a thousand in demy octavo to sell for 9s., and throw off no more in the larger size than you are confident of obtaining subscribers for — otherwise you will absolutely stop the sale of your book by printing it in a form that is neither customary nor useful, and retard at the same time the advancement of your own fame. If Blackwood likes, I will join in giving you at once half the profit of the edition of 1000 copies to sell at 9s., and let you throw off copies for your subscribers in royal octavo, paying only for the paper and working. If you will draw out a neat advertisement of the royal octavo, and give me all the names of subscribers, I will print the whole for you, and insert it in the next number of the Quarterly Review — of which, by the way, the number printed is now equal to that of the Edinburgh Review, 12,000, and which I expect to make 14,000 after two numbers. I beg you, at any rate, to put my name down upon your list for twenty-five copies, at 1 1s. each, and I will try to get you other subscribers. This is the very best time, if you will send me your advertisement and list of subscribers. I am happy to say that I have your portrait in my room — the one done by a painter in Edinburgh. I expect to receive the MS. of "Childe Harold," Canto IV. and last, in a few days, as Mr. Hobhouse is on his way from Venice with it. Lord Byron was very well. With sincere regard, I remain, my dear Sir,

Your faithful friend,

JOHN MURRAY.