The History of Leith

December 10, 2006

Pages from history

IT HAS been described as astounding, priceless and “the most important literary archive to be made public in over a century”. But for almost 200 years, the records of the John Murray publishing house were crammed into any available space at its London home – even on a shelf labelled “underpants”.

The Georgian townhouse at 50 Albermarle Street was the family home and headquarters of the Murray empire, which has published many of the greatest names of two centuries. From Jane Austen to Byron, Darwin to David Livingstone, a dynasty of seven John Murrays has presided over a cornucopia of literary giants. And the Murrays kept almost every scrap of paper relevant to clients and their business, in a literary archive valued at around £45 million. for more click here

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