Letters to John Murray, publishers, of Robert Playfair. Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Level of Description


  • 1873-1889. (Creation)


  • 0.00 linear metres (Whole)
    i + 169 folios.

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  • Scope and Contents

    The letters are to John Murray III, John Murray IV and Hallam Murray. They concern mostly the preparation and publication of works by Robert Playfair in the “Murray’s Handbooks” series:

    Playfair’s revision of “A handbook for travellers in Algeria” (1874);

    “A handbook for travellers in Algeria and Tunis, Algiers, Oran, Constantine, Carthage, etc.” (1878 and subsequent editions);

    “A handbook to the Mediterranean” (1881 and subsequent editions).

    Among other matters considered are Playfair`s plan to follow the journeys of James Bruce in Algeria and Tunis, and to produce a work based upon the experience. Playfair approached John Murray III proposing that he publish the work, Murray declined. “Travels in the footsteps of Bruce in Algeria and Tunis” was published in 1877 by C. Kegan Paul and Co., London.

    The letters are arranged chronologically.

    1873-1875: folios 1-32 [Notes 1-2];

    1876-1877: folios 33-54;

    1878-1879: folios 55-96 [Note 3];

    1880: folios 97-123;

    1881-1882, 1884-1887, 1889: folios 124-169.


    [Note 1.] Folios 15-16. Letter, 12 April 1875, of W. Percy Vaughan to John Murray III concerning the “Handbook for travellers in Algeria and Tunis”.

    [Note 2.] Folios 27-28. Copy, [30 September-19 October 1875], of a letter, 30 September 1875, of César Daly to Robert Playfair concerning James Bruce. The copy, a translation from the original French, was forwarded as an enclosure to Playfair’s letter to John Murray III, 19 October 1875 (folios 19-26).

    [Note 3.] Folio 86. Receipt, 10 August [1879], concerning payment of fifty pounds Sterling made by Robert Playfair to G.L. Faber for travel expenses.