Byron Society of America and Scottish Literature Discussion Group Session: 'Four O'Clock Friends: John Murray and His Circle' 29 December 2009 Modern Language Association Conference Philadelphia

By Wilson, Fiona | The Byron Journal, January 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Byron Society of America and Scottish Literature Discussion Group Session: 'Four O'Clock Friends: John Murray and His Circle' 29 December 2009 Modern Language Association Conference Philadelphia


Wilson, Fiona, The Byron Journal


The circle of writers nurtured by the so-called 'prince of all booksellers and publishers', John Murray II, was the subject of an experimental panel co-sponsored by the Byron Society of America and the Scottish Literature Discussion Group at the 2009 Modern Language Association conference in Philadelphia. On 29 December, members of both groups met in the Philadelphia Marriott to hear three stimulating papers from David McClay (John Murray Archive), Hermione de Almeida (Tulsa) and Susan Oliver (Salford). Though the atmosphere of a large academic conference might seem to have little in common with Murray's famously convivial drawing room, all of the speakers graciously rose to the occasion to offer fascinating, thoughtful papers on the inner workings of the Murray circle.

The proceedings were opened with some words from Tim Webb, dedicating the panel to the memory of Andrew Nicholson. As Professor Webb noted, Nicholson's contributions to Byron scholarship, particularly The Letters of John Murray to Lord Byron, have crucially shaped our understanding of the poet's relationship with his publisher. We are all indebted to Nicholson's scrupulous work as an editor and to his extraordinary generosity towards other scholars.

David McClay, Curator of the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland, delivered the first paper, 'John Murray II', and began by describing how Murray effectively transformed a 'fledging family business into one of the most successful and prestigious of publishing dynasties'. Importantly, Murray modelled the concept of the publisher as respectable, gentlemanly professional, a shift marked by his own withdrawal from a bookseller's shop to the more polite surroundings of the drawing room at 50 Albemarle Street where, by 1812, he conducted most of his business. Here he gathered the circle soon nicknamed 'the four o'clock friends', a loose coterie of Murray authors and visitors that included such figures as George Canning, William Gifford, Madame de Staël, Walter Scott and Lord Byron. Murray's library, convivial style and sizable payments to authors were all elements in his fashioning of publishing as an activity above 'mere' pecuniary demands. At the same time, however, the very real business of pounds and pence continued. As McClay concluded, Murray can be described as creating not only the professional publisher, but also the professional author. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Byron Society of America and Scottish Literature Discussion Group Session: 'Four O'Clock Friends: John Murray and His Circle' 29 December 2009 Modern Language Association Conference Philadelphia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.