The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals. Vol. 2

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Byron’s Letter and Journals

Volume 2

(August 1811-April 1814)

Part of Byron’s Works

a New, Revised and Enlarged Edition, with Illustrations.

This volume edited by Rowland E. Prothero


Table of Contents


The second volume of Mr. Murray’s edition of Byron’s Letters and Journals carries the autobiographical record of the poet’s life from August, 1811, to April, 1814. Between these dates were published Childe Harold (Cantos I., II.), The Waltz, The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, the Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte. At the beginning of this period Byron had suddenly become the idol of society; towards its close his personal popularity almost as rapidly declined before a storm of political vituperation.

Three great collections of Byron’s letters, as was noted in the Preface to the previous volume1, are in existence. The first is contained in Moore’s Life (1830); the second was published in America, in FitzGreene Halleck’s edition of Byron’s Works (1847); of the third, edited by Mr. W. E. Henley, only the first volume has yet appeared. A comparison between the letters contained in these three collections and in that of Mr. Murray, down to December, 1813, shows the following results: Moore prints 152 letters; Halleck, 192; Mr. Henley, 231. Mr. Murray’s edition adds 236 letters to Moore, 196 to Halleck, and to Mr. Henley 157. It should also be noticed that the material added to Moore’s Life in the second and third collections consists almost entirely of letters which were already in print, and had been, for the most part, seen and rejected by the biographer. The material added in Mr. Murray’s edition, on the contrary, consists mainly of letters which have never before been published, and were inaccessible to Moore when he wrote his Life of Byron.

These necessary comparisons suggest some further remarks. It would have been easy, not only to indicate what letters or portions of letters are new, but also to state the sources whence they are derived. But, in the circumstances, such a course, at all events for the present, is so impolitic as to be impossible. On the other hand, anxiety has been expressed as to the authority for the text which is adopted in these volumes. To satisfy this anxiety, so far as circumstances allow, the following details are given.

The material contained in these two volumes consists partly of letters now for the first time printed; partly of letters already published by Moore, Dallas, and Leigh Hunt, or in such books as Galt’s Life of Lord Byron, and the Memoirs of Francis Hodgson. Speaking generally, it may be said that the text of the new matter, with the few exceptions noted below, has been prepared from the original letters, and that it has proved impossible to authenticate the text of most of the old material by any such process.

The point may be treated in greater detail. Out of the 388 letters contained in these two volumes, 220 have been printed from the original letters. In these 220 are included practically the whole of the new material. Among the letters thus collated with the originals are those to Mrs. Byron (with four exceptions), all those to the Hon. Augusta Byron, to the Hanson family, to James Wedderburn Webster, and to John Murray, twelve of those to Francis Hodgson, those to the younger Rushton, William Gifford, John Cam Hobhouse, Lady Caroline Lamb, Mrs. Parker, Bernard Barton, and others. The two letters to Charles Gordon (30, 33), the three to Captain Leacroft (62, 63, 64), and the one to Ensign Long (vol. ii. p. 19, note), are printed from copies only.

The old material stands in a different position. Efforts have been made to discover the original letters, and sometimes with success. But it still remains true that, speaking generally, the printed text of the letters published by Moore, Dallas, Leigh Hunt, and others, has not been collated with the originals. The fact is important. Moore, who, it is believed, destroyed not only his own letters from Byron, but also many of those entrusted to him for the preparation of the Life, allowed himself unusual liberties as an editor. The examples of this licence given in Mr. Clayden’s Rogers and his Contemporaries throw suspicion on his text, even where no apparent motive exists for his suppressions. But, as Byron’s letters became more bitter in tone, and his criticisms of his contemporaries more outspoken, Moore felt himself more justified in omitting passages which referred to persons who were still living in 1830. From 1816 onwards, it will be found that he has transferred passages from one letter to another, or printed two letters as one, and vice versâ, or made such large omissions as to shorten letters, in some instances, by a third or even a half. No collation with the originals has ever been attempted, and the garbled text which Moore printed is the only text at present available for an edition of the most important of Byron’s letters. But the originals of the majority of the letters published in the Life, from 1816 to 1824, are in the possession or control of Mr. Murray, and in his edition they will be for the first time printed as they were written. If any passages are omitted, the omissions will be indicated.

Besides the new letters contained in this volume, passages have been restored from Byron’s manuscript notes (Detached Thoughts, 1821). To these have been added Sir Walter Scott’s comments, collated with the originals, and, in several instances, now for the first time published.

Appendix VII. contains a collection of the attacks made upon him in the Tory press for February and March, 1814, which led him, for the moment, to resolve on abandoning his literary work.

In conclusion, I wish to repeat my acknowledgment of the invaluable aid of the National Dictionary of Biography, both in the facts which it supplies and the sources of information which it suggests.

R. E. Prothero.

September, 1898.

Footnote 1:   Also available from Project /a> in text and html form.
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List of Letters

169Aug. 23To John Murray
170Aug. 24To James Wedderburn Webster
171Aug. 25To R.C. Dallas
172Aug. 27To R.C. Dallas
173Aug. 30To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
174Aug. 30To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
175Aug. 31To James Wedderburn Webster
176Sept. 2To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
177Sept. 3To Francis Hodgson
178Sept. 4To R.C. Dallas
179Sept. 5To John Murray
180Sept. 7To R.C. Dallas
181Sept. 9To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
182Sept. 9To Francis Hodgson
183Sept. 10To R.C. Dallas
184Sept. 13To Francis Hodgson
185Sept. 14To John Murray
186Sept. 15To R.C. Dallas
187Sept. 16To John Murray
188Sept. 16To R.C. Dallas
189Sept. 17To R.C. Dallas
190Sept. 17To R.C. Dallas
191Sept. 21To R.C. Dallas
192Sept. 23To R.C. Dallas
193Sept. 25To Francis Hodgson
194Sept. 26To R.C. Dallas
195Oct. 10To James Wedderburn Webster
196Oct. 10To R.C. Dallas
197Oct. 11To R.C. Dallas
198Oct. 13To Francis Hodgson
199Oct. 14To R.C. Dallas
200Oct. 16To R.C. Dallas
201Oct. 25To R.C. Dallas
202Oct. 27To Thomas Moore
203Oct. 29To R.C. Dallas
204Oct. 29To Thomas Moore
205Oct. 30To Thomas Moore
206Oct. 31To R.C. Dallas
207Nov. 1To Thomas Moore
208Nov. 17To Francis Hodgson
209Dec. 4To Francis Hodgson
210Dec. 6To William Harness
211Dec. 7To James Wedderburn Webster
212Dec. 8To William Harness
213Dec. 8To Francis Hodgson
214Dec. 11To Thomas Moore
215Dec. 12To Francis Hodgson
216undatedR.C. Dallas
217Dec. 15To William Harness
218Jan. 21To Robert Rushton
219Jan. 25To Robert Rushton
220Jan. 29To Thomas Moore
221Feb. 1To Francis Hodgson
222Feb. 4To Samuel Rogers
223Feb. 12To Master John Cowell
224Feb. 16To Francis Hodgson
225Feb. 21To Francis Hodgson
226Feb. 25To Lord Holland
227March 5To Francis Hodgson
228March 5To Lord Holland
229undatedTo Thomas Moore
230undatedTo William Bankes
231March 25To Thomas Moore
232undatedTo Lady Caroline Lamb
233April 20To William Bankes
234undatedTo Thomas Moore
235May 1To Lady Caroline Lamb
236May 8To Thomas Moore
237May 20To Thomas Moore
238June 1To Bernard Barton
239June 25To Lord Holland
240June 26To Professor Clarke
241July 6To Walter Scott
242undatedTo Lady Caroline Lambt
243Sept. 5To John Murray
244Sept. 10To Lord Holland
245Sept. 14To John Murray
246Sept. 22To Lord Holland
247Sept. 23To Lord Holland
248Sept. 24To Lord Holland
249Sept. 25To Lord Holland
250Sept. 26To Lord Holland
251Sept. 27To Lord Holland
252Sept. 27To Lord Holland
253Sept. 27To John Murray
254Sept. 28To Lord Holland
255Sept. 28To Lord Holland
256Sept. 28To William Bankes
257Sept. 29To Lord Holland
258Sept. 30To Lord Holland
259Sept. 30To Lord Holland
260Oct. 2To Lord Holland
261Oct. 12To John Murray
262Oct. 14To Lord Holland
263Oct. 18To John Hanson
264Oct. 18To John Murray
265Oct. 18To Robert Rushton
266Oct. 19To John Murray
267Oct. 22To John Hanson
268Oct. 23To John Murray
269Oct. 31To John Hanson
270Nov. 8To John Hanson
271Nov. 16To John Hanson
272Nov. 22To John Murray
273Dec. 26To William Bankes
274Jan. 8To John Murray
275Feb. 3To Francis Hodgson
276Feb. 3To John Hanson
277Feb. 20To John Murray
278Feb. 24To Robert Rushton
279Feb. 27To John Hanson
280March 1To John Hanson
281March 5To——Corbet
282March 6To John Hanson
283March 24To Charles Hanson
284March 25To Samuel Rogers
285March 26To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
286March 29To John Murray
287April 15To John Hanson
288April 17To John Hanson
289April 21To John Murray
290May 13To John Murray
291May 19To Thomas Moore
292May 22To John Murray
293May 23To John Murray
294June 2To John Murray
295undatedTo Thomas Moore
296June 3To John Hanson
297June 6To Francis Hodgson
298June 8To Francis Hodgson
299June 9To John Murray
300June 12To John Murray
301June 13To John Murray
302June 18To John Murray
303June 18To W. Gifford
304June 22To John Murray
305June 22To Thomas Moore
306June 26To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
307undatedTo the Hon. Augusta Leigh
308June 27To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
309July 1To John Murray
310July 8To Thomas Moore
311July 13To Thomas Moore
312July 18To John Hanson
313July 22To John Murray
314July 25To Thomas Moore
315July 27To Thomas Moore
316July 28To Thomas Moore
317July 31To John Murray
318Aug. 2To John Wilson Croker
319undatedTo John Murray
320Aug. 10To John Murray
321Aug. 12To James Wedderburn Webster
322Aug. 22To Thomas Moore
323Aug. 26To John Murray
324Aug. 28To Thomas Moore
325Sept. 1To Thomas Moore
326Sept. 2To James Wedderburn Webster
327Sept. 5To Thomas Moore
328Sept. 8To Thomas Moore
329Sept. 9To Thomas Moore
330Sept. 15To James Wedderburn Webster
331Sept. 15To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
332Sept. 15To John Murray
333Sept. 25To——Bolton
334Sept. 27To Sir James Mackintosh
335Sept. 27To Thomas Moore
336Sept. 29To John Murray
337Sept. 30To James Wedderburn Webster
338Oct. 1To Francis Hodgson
339Oct. 2To Thomas Moore
340Oct. 3To John Murray
341Oct. 10To John Hanson
342Oct. 10To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
343Oct. 12To John Murray
344Nov. 8To the Hon. Augusta Leigh
345Nov. 12To John Murray
346Nov. 12To William Gifford
347Nov. 12To John Murray
348Nov. 13To John Murray
349undatedTo John Murray
350Nov. 13To John Murray
351Nov. 14To John Murray
352Nov. 15To John Murray
353Nov. 17To John Murray
354Nov. 20To John Murray
355Nov. 22To John Murray
356Nov. 23To John Murray
357Nov. 24To John Murray
358Nov. 27To John Murray
359Nov. 28To John Murray
360Nov. 29To John Murray
361Nov. 29To John Murray
362Nov. 29To John Murray
363Nov. 30To John Murray
364Dec. 1To Thomas Moore
365Dec. 1To Francis Hodgson
366Dec. 2To John Murray
367Dec. 2To Leigh Hunt
368Dec. 3To John Murray
369Dec. 3To John Murray
370undatedTo John Murray
371Dec. 4To John Murray
372Dec. 6To John Murray
373Dec. 8To Thomas Moore
374Dec. 11To John Galt
375Dec. 14To John Murray
376Dec. 14To Thomas Ashe
377Dec. 15To Professor Clarke
378Dec. 22To Leigh Hunt
379Dec. 27To John Murray


List of Journal Entries


Detailed Contents of Appendices

Pages: 1 | 2 | Single Page