[ Sir James Murray, lexicographer, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('J. A. H. Murray') to an unnamed recipient, regarding his non-authorship of a dictionary by 'John Henry Murray', Mrs. Franklin Richards, a lecture

Sir James Murray [ Sir James Augustus Henry Murray ] (1837-1915), Scottish lexicographer, editor of Oxford English Dictionary [ New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Philological Society ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead: 'From Dr. Murray, Oxford. (Postal Address.) (Residence: Sunnyside, Banbury Road.)' 7 November 1903.
SKU: 20774

2pp., 12mo. On aged and worn paper, with a few closed tears to edges. Twenty-six lines of text, in a neat small hand. The letter begins, possibly in reference to the 'Companion Dictionary of the English Language' by 'James Henry Murray' (12mo, London, 1892): 'Dear Sir, | The little Dictionary to which you refer is not by me, and I have never seen it, nor do I know who the author is.' He has 'an indistinct remembrance' that a correspondent had given the opinion that the dictionary was 'an attempt to use the reputation of my name in connexion with the New English Dictionary, by leading people to attribute it to me. But he adduced no evidence to show that the compiler was not a bona fide "James Henry Murray," whom the publishers, with an eye to business, might have thought useful. | But of this I know absolutely nothing. The book may be good, bad, or indifferent. From what you say, it seems to be found useful.' A ten-line postscript concerns 'Mrs. Franklin Richards', who has 'just been in Oxford & was to call on Mr. Murray, but was prevented by the deplorable weather. She expressed a desire to hear my Lecture on "the World of Words & its Explorers", at the London Institute, Finsbury Circus, on Monday next, at 5p.m.' He has sent her tickets, so he may 'hear of it', but 'It would be too much to expect so busy and enterprising a man to go to anything so elementary.'