John Murray to George Canning (9/25/1807) - Correspondence Archive

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John Murray to George Canning
Sep. 25, 1807
[ transcription conventions ]

Murray MS.1

 

Copy in John Murray’s hand

The letter as it appears in Smiles’s Memoir

[In another hand] Re—founding of the Quarterly Review

[in yet another hand] a copy]

Sir

I venture to address you upon a subject that is not perhaps undeserving of one moment of your attention.

There is a work entitled the Edinburgh Review, written with such unquestionable talent that it has already obtained an extent of circulation not equalled by any similar publication. The principles of this work are however so radically bad, that I have been led to consider the effect which such sentiments so generally diffused, are likely to produce; & to think that some means equally popular ought to be adopted to counteract their dangerous tendency. But the publication in question is conducted with such high & decisive authority by the Party of whose opinions it is the organ, that there is little hope of producing against it any effectual opposition, unless it arise from you Sir, and your friendsShould you Sir think the idea worthy of encouragement I should with equal pride & willingness engage my arduous exertions to promote its success, but as my object is nothing short of producing a work of the greatest talent & importance, I shall entertain it no longer if it be not so fortunate as to obtain the high patronage which I have thus Sir taken the liberty to solicit.

Permit me sir to add that the person who thus addresses you is no adventurer, but a man of some property inheriting a business that has been established for nearly a century. I therefore pl trust that my application will be attributed to its proper motives, & that your goodness will at least pardon its intrusion.

I have the honour to be Sir

Your most humble & most obedient servant

(signed) John Murray

Bookseller. 32 Fleet St

London

The Rt Honble

George Canning

September 25. 1807.

John Murray to the Right Hon. George Canning.

September 25th, 1807

SIR,

I venture to address you upon a subject that is not, perhaps, undeserving of one moment of your attention. There is a work entitled the Edinburgh Review, written with such unquestionable talent that it has already attained an extent of circulation not equalled by any similar publication. The principles of this work are, however, so radically bad that I have been led to consider the effect which such sentiments, so generally diffused, are likely to produce, and to think that some means equally popular ought to be adopted to counteract their dangerous tendency. But the publication in question is conducted with so much ability, and is sanctioned with such decisive authority by the party of whose opinions it is the organ, that there is little hope of producing against it any effectual opposition, unless it arise from you, Sir, and your friends. Should you, Sir, think the idea worthy of encouragement, I should, with equal pride and willingness, engage my arduous exertions to promote its success; but as my object is nothing short of producing a work of the greatest talent and importance, I shall entertain it no longer if it be not so fortunate as to obtain the high patronage which I have thus Sir taken the liberty to solicit.

Permit me, Sir, to add that the person who thus addresses you is no adventurer, but a man of some property, and inheriting a business that has been established for nearly a century. I therefore trust that my application will be attributed to its proper motives, and that your goodness will at least pardon its intrusion.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your most humble and obedient Servant,

John Murray

Published @ RC

February 2005