Dramatis Personae

John Murray 1 - John Murray 7? What's that about?

The John Murray's ran and managed the John Murray publishing house, so you will see them mentioned regularly in this blog.  There have been seven of them...from the first John Murray who dropped the "Mac" from his name and tried to change his accent...and his legitimate son, John Murray 2...who really launched the firm as a force in London publishing...and five more successors, one of whom one changed his name by deed poll to get the gig...

Weird? Possibly. But also rather wonderful...250 years of personal and publishing continuity, and all of it recorded in the greatest literary archive on Earth...

Who will you encounter here?
During my time here I'll be researching and writing about lots of different characters I find in the John Murray Achive. You can find a list of them here with links to their biographies on the John Murray Archive website or short descriptions of who they were. I will be adding to the list as new characters appear in the blog:

Roald Amundsen (1872 - 1928): Norwegian polar explorer, led the first expedition to reach the South Pole.
Aaron Arrowsmith: Map makers.  Aaron Arrowsmith the elder lived 1750 - 1823 and his son Aaron Arrowsmith the Younger lived 1802 - 1854.
Sir John Barrow (1764 - 1848): Second Secretary of the Admiralty and promoter of exploration.
Isabella Bird Bishop(1831 - 1904): travel writer and photographer who circumnavigated the world twice.
Sir Alexander Burnes (1805 - 1841):  a political officer and explorer in India and the Middle East, who wrote works about his travels published by John Murray. Born in Montrose, Scotland. 
Richard Burton (1821-1290): explorer known for his travels in Africa and Asia.
Wilkie Collins (1884-1889): Writer and author of novels including The Woman in White.
Francis Crozier (1796-1848): Naval Officer and member of Franklin's failed 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage.
Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870): Victorian Novelist and editor of Household Words a weekly magazine of the 1850s.
Lady Jane Franklin (1792- 1875): Wife of the explorer Sir John Franklin and tireless campaigner to find her lost husband.
Sir John Franklin (1786 - 1847): Naval officer and Arctic explorer who led two failed expeditions to find the North West Passage.
Apsley Cherry Garrard (1886 - 1959): Arctic explorer and surviving member of Scott of the Antartic's second attempt to reach the South Pole.  Wrote an account of the expedition called The Worst Journey in the World, published in 1922.
Reverend George Gleig (1796- 1888): an army chaplain and author published by John Murray. 
Rudyard Kipling (1865 -1936): author born in India, author of The Jungle Book, 1894.
Lady Caroline Lamb (1785 - 1828): Lord Byron's infamous lover
Thomas Lawrence (1888 - 1935) army intelligence officer and author known as 'Lawrence of Arabia', his life was recorded in a famous British film of the same name in 1962.
Sir Francis McLintock (1819-1907): Naval officer who led the expedition to search for evidence of Franklin's failed expedition to find the Northwest Passage and wrote a book about it called The Voyage of the Fox published by John Murray.
Henry Morley (1822 - 1924): journalist and literary scholar.
Sir William Parry (1790-1855):  Naval Officer and Arctic explorer who explored routes for the Northwest Passage.
Sir John Richardson (1787-1865): arctic explorer and member of John Franklin's first expedition to find the Northwest passage who wrote a book about the expedition with Franklin.
John Rae (1813 - 1893):  Arctic explorer who found evidence of John Franklin's failed expedition to find the Northwest Passage and returned to Britain with an account of what he had found.
Sir James Ross (1800 - 1862): Naval officer and Arctic explorer and the nephew of Sir John Ross. Offered the opportunity to lead the failed 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage, but refused.
Sir John Ross (1777 - 1856): Naval Officer and Arctic explorer who explored routes for the Northwest Passage.
Sir Robert Sale (1782 - 1845): Army Officer who served as a general in Afghanistan during the Afghan uprising in 1841-2.
Lady Florentia Sale(1782-1845): Wife of Sir Robert Sale who acompanied him on his army postings, and wrote a journal of her experiences in Afghanistan, published by John Murray.
Robert Falcon Scott (1868 - 1912): Arctic explorer known as 'Scott of the Antarctic'.  Led two expeditions to reach the South Pole in the early twentieth century.
Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832): Poet, novelist and critic published by John Murray.
Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 - 1922): Antarctic explorer. 

Who is 'The Reader?'
Sometimes I'm going to write as a character called "Reader", quoting stuff from letters and published writing by the Murrays and their authors, arguing with them, applauding them... When I'm doing this I'm going to lay the post out like a play with different characters speaking to each other.  The 'characters' will include:

READER - kind of me, he is going to add my personal reactions to what I read

CHARACTERS: people from the archive will speak, often in words taken from their real letters and manuscripts.  People like JOHN MURRAY, CAROLINE LAMB and so on....

BOOKS: Sometimes I'll use a book or poem's name as a character such as:

You get the idea.