Left: James Currie. Right: a portrait of Burns by Archibald Skirving, published in The Works of Robert Burns, by Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1854.
Date : 27-12-1800
Correspondent : James CurrieCorrespondent Location : Liverpool
Recipient : Cadell & Davies Recipient Location : London
Subject : Currie writes to say he has received proofs for the second edition and about the expense of sending Burns manuscripts back to their owners.
Dear Sirs I have recd. the sheets of the second Edition of Burns, which I have not had time to examine – I wish the work had been in greater forwardness, as the demand, here at least, has been very great – Had the second edi=tion followed the first immediately, we should have sold at least an equal num=ber of it – But the demand could not be foreseen. If in examining the sheets you have sent me any errata should appear, they shall be forwarded on the 2d. Jany, on which day I shall draw upon you for the expences which I have incurred — The sum is greater than I mentioned, because I have been obliged to return many of the mss of Burns to the persons who lent them for our publication — And as the former copies were <> des=troyed in printing the first edition we have been obliged to write out the whole of the letters &ca anew, not as they are printed but with all the gaps filled up, so as that they may be employed for an edition at some future time, when the death of indi=viduals & the changes of the politi=cal hemisphere may admit some happy effusions to be published wh. we now suppressed — I have expended fifty guineas – I shall draw for forty only – The other ten may be passed to my credit in account with you. When all the copying is paid for, there will be a sum equal to ten guineas more, ^ ([?made] sixty) – But this will include all that is necessary for ths & the next or third edition. Mrs Lawrence has I believe written to you on the subject of Gesner. She is ready to go to the press. What she does is very beautiful. I know not how it is that our book=sellers here never keep a sufficient supply of my Medical Reports. I am continually [?tiezed] for it by strangers. It has not been to be had for this month. I am applied to for it from Ireland, where the practice has of late been extremely successful on some persons in fashionable life — Do you sell any in London? Is there any prospect of another edition being wanted? I am always Dr Sir yrs faithfully JaCurrie — P.S. You will have to settle with the Trustees of Burns soon — I wish you could send over some copies of the Medical Reports to Dublin & get them advertised there. I wish to bring forward a third Edition for which [?I] important matter

Notes :

Mrs Lawrence … Gesner: Mrs Rose Lawrence (fl 1799-1829), Liverpool friend of Currie’s whose translation of Gesner appeared in 1802.

Medical Reports: Reports on the Effects of water in Febrile Disease (1797).

back to search