Page 1 of a 2 page letter from Byron to Murray, 6 April 1819 [Library reference: MS.43490].
Publisher John Murray agreed to publish Lord Byron's 'Don Juan', but, had concerns over some of the personal attacks and controversial content in the poem.
Murray wanted some of the passages within the work to be toned down before publication.
He communicated this to Byron, who was living in Italy having fled England to escape the scandal surrounding his personal affairs.
Byron was resistant to major changes to 'Don Juan', saying he would prefer the work to be published anonymously instead.
He sent Murray a letter from Venice in 1819, asserting that he wanted his poem to be judged on its poetic merits.
'You shan't make canticles of my cantos — The poem will please if it is lively — if it is stupid it will fail — but I will have none of your damned cutting and slashing. If you please you may publish anonymously it will perhaps be better — but I will battle my way against them all — like a porcupine.'