Edward Moxon: Publisher of Poets

By Harold G. Merriam | Go to book overview

Chapter 8 TRADE RELATIONS

MORE than once Moxon was involved in business difficulties. On each occasion he acted with decision. There was the lawsuit threatened by Taylor when Moxon printed, in 1833, Last Essays of Elia. We have already seen Lamb's concern and action in the face of this trouble; it remains to note Moxon's. When Taylor, publisher of the London Magazine at the time when some of the essays were appearing, claimed copyright in them and in March threatened an injunction, Moxon obtained from Lamb the facts of the matter and refused to recognize Taylor's rights--"No writing and no word," Lamb assured him, "ever passed between Taylor, or Hessey, and me, respecting my copyright. This I can swear. They made a vol. at their own will, and volunteer'd me a third of the profits, which came to £30, which came to Bilk, and never came back to me."1 In the course of the correspondence Moxon, in savage humor, wrote Lamb, "If I do not cheat him, never trust me again," which drew from Lamb a letter just as fiercely humorous, "I do not know whether to admire most the wit or justness of the sentiment."2 In September Taylor and Moxon were at law.3 Moxon won.4

The most severe lawsuit in which Moxon was involved came about through his publishing in 1840 the complete text of Shelley Queen Mab.

The trial of Moxon for publishing a "blasphemous libel" was held with a special jury, on June 23, 1841, in the court of the Queen's Bench before Lord Denman, the Lord Chief justice, who was at that time and later so notably connected with suppression of the slave trade. The indictment was originally brought against Fraser and Otley, booksellers, as well as Moxon, but Moxon, as

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1
Lucas, Letters of Charles Lamb, II, 962.
4
According to E. V. Lucas, Life of Charles Lamb, II, 800. For Lamb part in this difficulty see the chapter, "Moxon and Charles and Mary Lamb."

-101-

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Edward Moxon: Publisher of Poets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Chapter I the Years Before Publishing, 1801-30 1
  • Chapter 2- Conditions of Publishing Before 1830 17
  • Chapter 3 Early Business Years 25
  • Chapter 4 Business Expansion 47
  • Chapter 5 Moxon and Charles - And Mary Lamb 60
  • Chapter 6 Business Policies 75
  • Chapter 7- Typical Relations With Authors 89
  • Chapter 8 Trade Relations 101
  • Chapter 9- Moxon and Established Writers 110
  • Chapter 10 Moxon and Wordsworth 130
  • Chapter 11 New Names 150
  • Chapter 12 Moxon and Tennyson 169
  • Chapter 13 Later Years 188
  • Chapter 14 Evaluation 196
  • Bibliography 201
  • Index 213
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