Letter of Sir Walter Scott to John Murray, 30 October 1808

Scott suggested which literary works should be reviewed in Murray's publication 'The Quarterly Review'. Scott was so confident in its success, he offered to work for free if it did not make a profit.


Copyright National Library of Scotland

Transcription Mark-up QA and corrections QA

lead the van with a very short memoir of each of their
lives & a prefatory Essay on the peculiarities of their
stile. These will be followed by a good selection of
novels of less name. Those of late date may however
be property but I presume that the proprietors for exam
=ple of Miss Burneys novels or Mr Ratcliffes may
be easily induced to consent to their insertion — I
want very much an old catalogue of a large circulating
Library (suppose Hookhams or Lanes) to assist my memory
in pointing out the works which should be inserted.
I have the utmost confidence in this plan succeeding to
an extent almost immense & will gladly make you
a present of my own time & labour should the
work not prove profitable. Dispatch is however
the surest fore runner of success. I am endeavouring
to get Richardsons Novels — pray send me his Letters
lately published. As the criticism will be of a
different text & paging Pa the Novels which in double
columns may I think be comprised in two or at
most three volumes being either 10 or seven 8vo
volumes to one of the new Edition.

Pray dont omit to pick up old romances
& novels & tales & above all keep your plan secret.