This is a critical edition of the collected letters of John Murray to Lord Byron whose works he published. These letters have never been published before, nor indeed (except in rare instances) has access to them ever been granted. They tell us a great deal about Byron's works and the manner of their publication, and about the aims, literary interest and vicissitudes of his publisher.
They reveal the very special (indeed intimate) relationship - unique in the annals of publishing - that existed between the two men, both on a personal level and in their professional and artistic capacities. They show, for instance, to what extent Byron was amenable to Murray's suggestions as to alterations and revisions in his poetry and how far Murray was prompted to publish works by authors at Byron's recommendation (Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan' and 'Christabel' owe their publication to just such a recommendation).
Besides illuminating many other details of historical and literary interest, they throw considerable light on publishing practice at the time, on Murray's relations with fellow publishers (Blackwood and Constable in Edinburgh and Galignani in Paris, for instance), and with numerous other authors (such as Austen, Hogg, Hunt, Washington Irving, Scott, Madame de Stael), not to mention the vast circle of literati, scientists, travellers and politicians who frequented his drawing room.