The First John Murray and the Late Eighteenth-century London Book Trade: With a Checklist of His Publications

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British Academy, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 433 pages
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A remarkably complete record of both John Murray's business career (1768-1793) and his private life is preserved in the archive of the London publishing house which still bears his name. Dr Zachs fully exploits this material to chart Murray's success in the competitive book trade - success achieved by his imaginative use of the many new practices which were revolutionizing the industry. The accounts of Murray's negotiations with authors and other traders, and the details of how he produced and marketed his publications, lay bare the fundamental economics of the book trade. Simultaneously, Dr Zachs tells the story of a remarkable life. Murray was a complicated man, honest and hypocritical, self-serving and generous, a constant schemer capable of considerable spontaneity, a strait-laced libertine. Married twice (to sisters), the father of an illegitimate son for whom he had lifelong affection, he was anything but conventional. Both fascinating narrative and work of scholarship, this volume offers many telling insights into the cultural history of its period. It also includes a comprehensive checklist of Murray's titles, with detailed information about their publication.

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Contents

Early Years
5
Thirtytwo Fleet Street at the Sign of the Ship
25
The EighteenthCentury Book Trade
52
Dealing with Authors
63
The London Trade
77
Trade Outside London
91
The Irish Trade
109
TheDublin Cartel
116
A Litigious and Disputatious Nature
184
Periodical Publications
200
The Politics of a Bookseller
221
Later Years
238
A CHECKLIST OF MURRAY PUBLICATIONS 17681795 25 3
253
Index of Murray Publications
410
Bibliography
417
Index
425

Family Matters
122
Diversity and Specialisation 15 3
153
Copyright

About the author (1998)

University of Edinburgh

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