Entry in business ledger listing the income and expenditure on publishing the first edition of 'Don Juan' cantos I and II, 1819 [Library reference: MS.42725].
John Murray first published Byron's 'Don Juan' in a large expensive edition in July 1819.
1500 copies of the first edition were produced, and this was followed up by a smaller cheaper version costing 9s 6d.
Excluding overheads, sales of this octavo edition would almost allow him to break even, and the print run of 3500 copies sold out by 1822. But sales began to drop off and 288 copies of a small reprint (of only 750) were still unsold in 1843.
Throughout the 1820s the relationship between publisher and poet had become increasingly strained.
In 1822, after cantos III-V of 'Don Juan' appeared in print, Byron broke with Murray, and Cantos VI to XVI were published by the radical publisher John Hunt. 'Don Juan' remained unfinished at Byron's death in 1824.