British Fiction, 18001829

LESASSIER, Alexander Hamilton. Edward Neville (1823)

Publishing Papers

Correspondence, Journals, and Memoirs:

Letter from Cosmo Orme to Dr Alexander Hamilton [Lesassier].
9 July 1822.
[written above salutation] see Dr H’s letter to which is affixed the opinion of the Novel.
[letter proper] On the other side you will find a copy of the opinion of our literary friend respecting the Novel you had the goodness to send me. I should recommend the author to go over the work carefully and to make the alterations that are suggested. You will then please to return the MS stating that you are willing to publish it on the plan of sharing the Profit & loss and I will lay it before my partners who will immediately come to a decision as to the publication. It would be advisable for the Author to think of several titles from which we might select the one most likely to be attractive. [illegible deletion]. The MS is forwarded by this days Mail Coach.
Source: Longman Archives, Longman I, 101, no. 305 (draft).
Notes: Letter is addressed to Hamilton at 3 Argyle Square, Edinburgh. ‘[Illegible deletion]’ is given as it appears in the typed transcript of the letter in the Longman Archives. According to Lisa Rosner, Lesassier adopted his mother’s name of Hamilton upon becoming a doctor, so he often simply went by the name Alexander Hamilton. He is also known as Alexander Lesassier Hamilton. See Lisa Rosner, The Most Beautiful Man in Existence: The Scandalous Life of Alexander Lesassier (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), pp. 154–160 for additional details about Lesassier’s authorship of Edward Neville.

Letter from Cosmo Orme to Dr Alexander Hamilton [Lesassier].
4 Apr 1823.
Both your letter and the MS reached me this morning quite safe. The printer has instructions to proceed with the printing as fast as possible as it is of importance to the speculation to have it out before the close of the season and in order to save time I shall employ the [deleted: same] literary gentleman to read the proofs who gave an opinion on the work [deleted: in the first instance]. We shall adopt the first title & print it in three Vol.
Source: Longman Archives, Longman I, 101, no. 349C (draft).
Notes: The letter is addressed to Hamilton at 57 Northumberland St, Edinburgh. Edward Neville appeared in four volumes, not three, as indicated here. The typed transcript of this letter in the Longman Archives records one deleted word that is not given here.

Ledger Entries:

Divide Ledger Entry, Longman & Co.
May 1823. The impression consisted of 500 copies.
May 1823–June 1825. Total outlay (paper, printing and misc. expenses): 233. 1. 11.
May 1823. To advertising: 25. 0. 0; to further advertising, June 1824, 2. 11. 8; June 1825, 2. 7. 1.
June 1823. Copies sent to the following: 13 June, 1 copy bds to author; 16 June, 1 copy bds to Literary Gazette; 20 June, 1 copy bds to Monthly Review.
June 1824. By this date, 285 copies had been sold as follows: 141 as 139 at a Coffee House Sale, for a total of 127. 8. 4; 144 copies at 0. 18. 4 each, for a total of 132. 0. 0.
[June 1825]. By this date, the remaining 201 copies had been sold as follows: 185 sold to Newman at 0. 3. 0. each, for a total of 27. 15. 0; 10 sold at 0. 3. 0, for a total of 1. 10. 0; 6 sold at 0. 18. 4, for a total of 5. 10. 0.
Total sum from the sale of this novel: 294. 3. 4.
[June 1825]. Half profits to author, 15. 11. 4; half profits to Longman & Co, 15. 11. 4.
Source: Longman Divide Ledger 2D, p. 206.
Notes: ‘Dr Hamilton’ is written in the upper right corner of the ledger entry. A 2½ per cent commission was deducted from the revenue from a Coffee House Sale. Copies in boards were distributed to individuals (including the author) and reviews at a cost of 0. 5. 0 each. The Longman Impression Book shows that the novel’s printer was Spottiswoode. See Longman Impression Book No. 7, fol. 232.

Print | Close


© 2004 Project Director: Professor Peter Garside;
Research Associates: Dr Jacqueline Belanger, Dr Sharon Ragaz;
Database/Website Developer: Dr Anthony Mandal