IN PRAISE OF RICHARD WHITEING
MURRAY, David Christie (1847–1907), novelist and journalist. Autograph letter signed to an unnamed correspondent [Grant Richards], 1 side, 8vo, January 26 1899, 114 Drakefield Road, Balham, S.W., regarding the novels of his “valued friend” Richard Whiteing ‘ ‘The Island’ – is a work of sterling genius. I shall be pleased to have a chance of saying what I think of his next work, and if you will send me an advance ….. before binding I will make a labour of love of my review. Anything Whiteing writes is worth soaking in.’
The novel The Island published in 1888 by Murray’s friend Richard Whiteing (1840 -1928) was about a utopian life on Pitcairn Island, but it was Whiteing’s next novel No. 5 John Street published in1899 (and alluded to in this letter) which made him famous, and led to the republication of The Island. The letter is clearly to Whiteing’s London publisher, Grant Richards.
David Murray travelled widely and wrote extensively on foreign affairs, with articles appearing in newspapers and journals including The Times, The Scotsman, Mayfair, and the Contemporary Review, and he was also a successful lecturer. His first novel, A Life's Atonement, was published in 1879, after which he wrote novels nearly every year up to 1898.