Some time in mid-century, John Murray III, son of the founder of the Quarterly Review and inheritor of the John Murray publishing house, undertook to research a history of his father's journal. The record of his researches takes three forms:
- in a manuscript, an elaborate and fairly successful attempt to identify authors of Quarterly Review articles is preserved. Following Shine and the Wellesley Index, this manuscript is herein referred to as the Murray Register
- letters he gathered of William Gifford, Robert William Hay, John Taylor Coleridge remain in the Murray archive. The letters are cited or quoted from in the Index pages on the Website
- summary notes on letters in the Murray archives, chiefly William Gifford correspondence, 1808-1815
It is the latter, his summary of Murray archive letters important to a history of the Quarterly Review, that is transcribed on the following pages. Murray's notes cover the period 1808-15, during which period the first 16 numbers of the journal were published. The transcript on this page covers 1808-1809, up to the publication of the second number of the journal. The balance of Murray's notes will appear here in the next few weeks.
The transcript appears with the permission of John Murray Publishers, London.
Note In JM III's notes, the letter x, and x in multiples, indicates JM III's view of the letter's significance. An asterisk * is also sometimes used to indicate significance. The number that generally precedes the letter's date is a serial number assigned by JM. The same number appears in JM III's hand on the holograph letter preserved in the Murray archives. The quotation mark " is here a ditto mark. "Do" or "do." also represents the word "ditto."
———[first page, left-hand column]———
Chiefly W. Gifford 1808-15
Jan: Stratford Canning — introducing W. Gifford to JM.
W Gifford Nov. 29 he had been with Mr Canning arranging an interview — Mr Ellis to
write for QR
J Mills offering an art: On W Indies by a Mr Lowe
J Pillans Dec 29 evidently writing for QR
x Mrs Inchbald Dec had been asked to write for QR — very diffident — (addressed to
W Gifford going to Claremont to consult with Mr C & Ellis.
Young Dr Jan forwarding Pillans art. On Virgil
(2) i offering to moderate and
ii Decling to write an Art for QR 1 wh:[ich] he afterwards did write
x Mill Jno about Mr Lowes art: on W India Rum: flattered by JMs desire to have him
(Mill) as a Contribr to No. 1 — wishing well to QR promising art: for No 2 (wh:[ich]
never was inserted)
Inchbald Mrs Jan 13. modestly declining to write for QR
Young Dr Jan 29. Enclosing Art: for QR
x W Gifford. Recruits for QR asked by Lord Teignmouth to meet [Zachary] Macaulay
x R Wharton Feb: approving highly of 2 sheets of QR wh:[ich] JM had submitted to him.
W Gifford Feb: Macaulay enlisted
———— Feb 1 Dr Kidd & Dean of Ch: Ch enlisted
———— [Feb] 19. Friend of MR Barre Roberts to review Wharburtons book.
Feb 20. Revisions of Proofs.
" 26 do. do.
" 27 promise of an art: on Denmark by Mr [?Henry or ?John] Thornton
MS one art: review of by Sir J Carrs Caledonian sketches — its absurdities
" — sending an art by a Mr Roberts.
" — caution about Mr Wharton
16 " — ? allusion: scold his friends in Downing St
17 " — unimportant
Anonymous (Mar 3) asking for return of an Art:
Mar 10 Mr Barré Charles Roberts, acknmt of payment for art in QR — loyalty to do.
Thomson (Dr J) Mar 22. Willing to write for QR
x Hunt (Jno) Examiner Office. declining on his brother's behalf to write for QR
Roberts (Barré C) about getting a friend of his to review Warburton for QR
———[first page, right-hand column]———
QR No 2
Drake (Nathan) Apr 10: has not time to write for QR — but admires it
Richardson, WM Ap 17 offering to review Wm Cottins Amelie Mansfield
18 W Gifford May revision of proofs
May complaining of proofs
X JM to WB May 12. Earnestly desiring him to insert Turners art: on Napoleon & Austria
x " May (? year) urging WG to avoid so much delay.
W Gifford 19 (May 13) in answer to JM's of May 12. rather annoyed. "You have too many
advisers and I too many masters." &c. &c.
20 (May 22). about an attack by ? Syd Smith in Ed: Rev: sending QR to press &c &c.
21 (May) remarks on various articles
22 ( " ) do do
22 ( " ) do do
22 ( " ) Praise of Mr D'Israeli &c &c
22 ( " ) remarks on various articles
22 ( " ) do do do
22 ( " )
22 ( " ) on Sicily
QR No 3
XX 29 (June 18) from Isle of Wight. pleased with reception of No. 2 Turners art: much praised.
hints &c on conduct of review — Hoppners illness &c.
30 (June 20) preparations for new No
31 (June 30) " " " Hoppner.
32 (July 21) " " "
33 (Aug ?) about article on Pinckney
34 ( " ) about various arts: for new No
35 ( " ) " " "
36 ( " 9) a suggestion
XX 37 ( " ") various comments on the review; the contributors to it & the mutual relations of WG
XX 38 (May 29) Mr Canning has exerted himself & produced "the best article that ever yer
28 * -- clues to sundry articles
39 (Aug 31) strong adverse opinion of Arthur Young
rejection of Mr Pillans Art. &c. &c.
40 ( ) satisfaction with the No
NO - 4
41 (Oct ?) preparations for new No:
42 (Nov ?): revisions of proofs: complaining of JM's handwriting
43 Nov 15 giving JM some hints to use in declining a paper on Spain sent to QR
44 Nov 18. Preparations for new No wishes for welfare of QR.
————[end of page 1]————
————[second page, left-hand column]————
QR 4 Continued
(45) W Gifford Nov 29 revision of proofs &c
(46) (? Nov). Southey thinks himself neglected — Scott won't answer letters — desire to obtain
greater regularity in publicn
(47) ( ? ) Some article on America by Southey
(48) (Dec 8) Scott's review of Talavera
(49) (Dec 8) Hebers Art: on Jackson — Scotts on Talavera &c
(50) ( ? ) revision of proofs
(51) ( ? ) making up the No
(52) Dec 2 (out of order) arrangements for QR
53 ( ? ) revision of QR; art: by a Mr Hodgson
54 (Dec 30) " " " Sidney Smith said he has not read QR. — Mr [James] Stephen
55 ? date & allusion
55 * " " "
56 " " "
56 " " " — about Mr Northmore: Walpoles art. Coplestone
58. 9. date. Accepting a suggestion of JM's
1810 QR No 5
Jan 1 59 To send Pitts Life to Canning
60 (Jan) arrangements for new No.
61 (Jan 9) abt. Mr Scott: anxiety in Ednibr for QR
62 (Jan) Dr Whitaker — Hoppners Funeral &c
63 (Jan) Preparations for publication
64 (Jan 13) " " "
Feb 65 (Feb 2) " " "
66 (Feb 2) Art on Heculanensia
67 (Feb 9) books for QR & allusions to writer
68 (Feb 13) much pleased with a critique by a Mr Cromeck but obliged to decline: work already in hand, anxious to secure him in future
69 ( " " ) art on Herculanensia
Mar 70 (Mar 13) revision of QR
71 (Mar 19) enclosing a note for Mr Canning
about a correction for his art:
72* — revision of proofs - & opinion of arts
73 (Mar 17) a suggestion
74 ( " " ) arts: Mr Canning & Scott
75 (Mar 30) advising greater secrecy as to Contributions
--cheery & encouraging
76 ( ? ) clue to authorship of 2 Arts:
77 (Apr) Mr Ellis much pleased with the No but considers it too severe on Sydney
QR No 6
May 78 (May 21) preparations for new No
July 79 (July 3) do do do (clue)
80 (July 16) final directions — several clues — great delay in publication &c &c
QR No 7
July 81 (July 17) arrangements for new No: clue to art:
82 ( " 23 ) loss of parcel
83 ( " 26 ) " " "