The history of the John Murray publishing house is more than the history of authors and books. It is the history of a remarkable family as well.
Each of the seven generations of Murrays brought their own distinct force of character and passions to the publishing house. This helped it not only to survive innumerable wars, slumps and upheavals, but to thrive, flourish and maintain a reputation for publishing excellence.
Although John Murray I had reissued books of poetry by popular 18th-century authors such as James Thompson, it was his son, John Murray II, who established the firm's reputation as a literary publisher.
The house of Murray became most strongly associated with Lord Byron, but it also took risks in publishing many other authors.
Some of these risks paid off, whereas other Murray authors — such as James Hogg — were not a commercial success or appreciated in their own time.
Among the poets represented in the John Murray Archive are: