So, what can be concluded after analyzing the eleven year relationship between John Murray and Lord Byron? As a reminder, here are the two major research questions that shaped the website:
- Can two individuals form a successful business relationship if their personal and moral beliefs conflict with one another?
- Did Murray exploit Byron? If so, were Murray’s actions considered normal between an author and publisher? Did their close personal relationship have an effect?
Through examining their personal correspondences, Byron’s literary works and secondary research, we can see that the possibility of forming a successful business relationship between two morally different people can happen. However, it does not necessarily mean that the relationship will be lasting, as we can see with Murray and Byron. The two eventually went their separate ways, as Byron grew increasingly frustrated with the pressure and censorship placed on him by Murray. This also answers part of the second research question; that there was some form of exploitation between Murray and Byron.
In his article “How to Analyze a Correspondence: The Example of Byron and Murray”, Andrew Elfenbein notes in his abstract the following:
“The correspondence of John Murray and Lord Byron provides a case study in “good enough communication” that allows business transactions to continue despite significant gaps in common ground and core values….“Good enough communication” is an alternative to the transparency and clarity traditionally privileged in studies of the history of business communication.” (Elfenbein 347)
Whether or not Murray and Byron’s relationship was representative of a typical author and publisher, there is a sense of trust that the author places in the publisher. Despite differences in their personal and moral beliefs, Murray and Byron had been able to successfully work together in the earlier years. The exploitation of the author is not something unique to their relationship, as publishers were often depicted as the type to “[drink] their wine out of author’s skulls.” (O’Connell 160)
The close relationship that Murray and Byron shared then may have delayed the inevitable. Every relationship undergoes problems in some form, and the one between the prolific author and publisher is no exception.