Letter from Murray to Byron, July 16 1819 [Library reference: MS.43496].
The first copies of Lord Byron's 'Don Juan' went on sale on 15 July 1819, and publisher John Murray was anticipating a huge public reaction to the work.
In a letter dated 16 July 1819, he wrote to Byron from his house in Wimbledon. The letter began:
'Having fired the bomb — here I am out of the way of the explosion'
Murray was aware of a buzz around the new work, and was eager to know the reaction from readers, as his letter to Byron continued:
'Its publication has excited a very very great degree of interest — public expectation having risen up like the surrounding boats on the Thames when a first rate is truck from its stocks. As yet my scouts & dispatches afford little clue to public opinion'.
Murray's anticipations were correct, 'Don Juan' caused a great reaction from its readers.