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".


Copyright National Library of Scotland


please you, because I respect your excellent
judgment, but we must compromise the dilemma.

Mrs. Ford & Mr Miles have read the
pages with delight & make no objections;
why not take them as a sample of the
reading public — I have endeavoured to
work in what I mean to exclude : as
you will see. how are 300 pages to be got
rid of otherwise? answer me that?
You have none of these matters, which you
now want to put in, in other handbooks.
all riding dilly servants &c must
positively go out of 2nd Edn & they are so curious &
such personal narratives that they
must positively stand here, or you
ruin my book & break my heart
money & posthorses, I surrender —

I now will go to work commenting
on your excisions = Oh matador of authors!
Oh bowelless executioner of eminent pens!
Oh Murray my Murray : et tu fili mi!!