SMILES, Samuel. A Publisher and His Friends. Memoir and Correspondence of the late John Murray, with an Account of the Origin and Progress of the House, 1768-1843. London, John Murray, 1891.
Two volumes, 8vo. Original publisher's blue cloth, lettered in gilt, patterned endpapers; pp. xv, 496, [32, Murray's advertisements]; ix, 549; two steel-engraved portrait frontispieces with tissue guards loosely inserted; only light rubbing to extremities; apart from light offsetting from portraits a very clean and fresh copy; volume II still partly unopened; provenance: initial blank with four-line ink inscription To Lemuel Bangs from John Murray with his kind regards - June 1891.
First edition of this documentary history of the most far-reaching and influential publishing businesses of the 19th and a good part of the 20th century, with branches in Toronto, Sidney, Calcutta and elsewhere in the British Empire. Among the authors were Byron, Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Byron, Charles Lyell, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Herman Melville, Edward Whymper, Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, etc.
Provenance The signature is by the founder's grandson John Murray III (1808–1892), who further expanded the business and ventured into guide books and more titles on travel and exploration. Lemuel Bangs (1840-1922) was the London representative of the New York publishers Scribners; he frequently forwarded letters from UK publishers to the US. He was the only American member of the Garrick Club.