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


Component Unique Identifier
Level of Description


  • 1879-1899. (Creation)


  • 0.00 linear metres (Whole)
    ii + 154 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).

    The letters are arranged chronologically.

    1890-1891: folios 1-44 [Notes 1-2];

    1892-1893: folios 45-76;

    1894-1895: folios 77-115 [Notes 3-4];

    1896-1899: folios 116-146.

    Related items.

    Notes, 1879, by Robert Playfair on sources used to compile the first edition of “A handbook to the Mediterranean”. Folios 147-149.

    Advertisement for the first edition of “A handbook to the Mediterranean” from the “Quarterly Literary Advertiser” for July [?1881]. Folio 150.

    Notes, ?1882 and ?1894, concerning the production of “A handbook for travellers in Algeria” and “A handbook to the Mediterranean”. Folios 151-152.

    Two plates, 4th quarter of the 19th century, of photographs of the interior of a colonial residence in the arabesque style of architecture. The images may be of the Consul-General’s residence in Algeria. Folios 153-154.


    [Note 1.] Folios 8-13. Pamphlet, [?1890], by Robert Playfair entitled “Church of the Holy Trinity, Algiers”. The pamphlet was sent as an enclosure to Playfair’s letter to John Murray IV, 28 October 1890 (folios 5-7).

    [Note 2.] Folio 22. Letter, 13 January 1891, of W.L Courtney to John Murray IV returning Robert Playfair’s letter to Murray, 9 January 1891 (folios 20-21).

    [Note 3.] Folios 80-81. Letter, 18 October 1894, of [?] Chapman, British Consulate, Leghorn, to Robert Playfair. Playfair has written a forwarding letter, 22 October 1894, to ?Hallam Murray on part of Chapman’s letter (folio 81).

    [Note 4.] Folios 103-104. Letter, 28 January 1895, of Louis Salvator to Robert Playfair praising his “A handbook to the Mediterranean”. The letter was forwarded as an enclosure to Playfair’s letter to either John Murray IV or Hallam Murray, 4 February 1895 (folios 101-102).