Letter of Richard Ford to John Murray 1846

Ford’s lively and dramatic letters to Murray discuss the writing, suppression and eventual success of the 'Handbook for Travellers in Spain'. In this letter Ford is horrified at the extent of edits from Murray and calls him a "matador of authors".

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Copyright National Library of Scotland

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136


Mrs. Ford sends her compliments & thinks you alto
gether possessed She would not touch the thing


Thursday Hevitre


Dear Murray


Your letter & the proposed changes in
the eleventh hour have horrified & petrified me.
I am wishing the at the devil &
d — g the hour that ever Mrs. Ford induced
me to change my good & great mind to have
nothing to do with it: I cannot do (as I see)
work except for myself & in my own way: I
do not blame you my dear friend. although
I think you might be bolder & might trust
to me who indeed have your interests at heart
quite as much as my own; for I have a soul
above filthy lucre & will prove it by giving
you a 3rd. . /which need not come out yet / if it
be wanted; I wish you to read the preface : it
may appease your doubts. depend upon
it that I know what I am about; I am
the best judge of how to bring out your second
Edition. & the things shall not clash. I
have been wasting myself at hours of night to
do a nice thing genesis & cannot
allow it to be so cruelly castrated; I would
rather renounce all the time labor & anxiety
& pay the expense incurred myself ; Authors
have feelings, I will strain every point