The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale, by George Byron

Bibliographical note on The Giaour

The bibliography of the Giaour is beset with difficulties, and it is doubtful if more than approximate accuracy can be secured. The composition of the entire poem in its present shape was accomplished within six months, May–November, 1813, but during that period it was expanded by successive accretions from a first draft of 407 lines (extant in MS.) to a seventh edition of 1334 lines. A proof is extant of an edition of 28 pages containing 460 lines, itself an enlargement on the MS.; but whether (as a note in the handwriting of the late Mr. Murray affirms) this was or was not published is uncertain. A portion of a second proof of 38 pages has been preserved, but of the publication of the poem in this state there is no record. On June 5 a first edition of 41 pages, containing 685 lines, was issued, and of this numerous copies are extant. At the end of June, or the beginning of July, 1813, a second edition, entitled, a “New Edition with some Additions,” appeared. This consisted of 47 pages, and numbered 816 lines. Among the accretions is to be found the famous passage beginning, “He that hath bent him o’er the dead.” Two MS. copies of this pannus vere purpureus are in Mr. Murray’s possession. At the end of July, and during the first half of August, two or more issues of a third edition were set up in type. The first issue amounted to 53 pages, containing 950 lines, was certainly published in this form, and possibly a second issue of 56 pages, containing 1004 lines, may have followed at a brief interval. A revise of this second issue, dated August 13, is extant. In the last fortnight of August a fourth edition of 58 pages, containing 1048 lines, undoubtedly saw the light. Scarcely more than a few days can have elapsed before a fifth edition of 66 pages, containing 1215 lines, was ready to supplant the fourth edition. A sixth edition, a reproduction of the fifth, may have appeared in October. A seventh edition of 75 pages, containing 1334 lines, which presented the poem in its final shape, was issued subsequently to November 27, 1813 (a seventh edition was advertised in the Morning Chronicle, December 22, 1813), the date of the last revise, or of an advance copy of the issue. The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth editions belong to 1814, while a fourteenth edition is known to have been issued in 1815. In that year and henceforward the Giaour was included in the various collected editions of Byron’s works. The subjoined table assigns to their several editions the successive accretions in their order as now published:—

Lines. Giaour. Edition of ——

1 — 6. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

7 — 20. Second edition. [47 pages, 816 lines.] Approximate date, June 24, 1813.

21 — 45. Third edition. [53 pages, 950 lines.] July 30, 1813.

46 — 102. Second edition.

103 — 167. Fifth edition. [66 pages, 1215 lines.] August 25, 1813.

168 — 199. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

200 — 250. Third edition.

251 — 252. Seventh edition. [75 pages, 1334 lines.] November 27, 1813.

253 — 276. Third edition.

277 — 287. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

288 — 351. Third edition. (Second issue?) August 11, 1813. [56 pages, 1004,? 1014 lines.]

352 — 503. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

504 — 518. Third edition.

519 — 619. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

620 — 654. Second edition.

655 — 688. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

689 — 722. Fourth edition. [58 pages, 1048 lines.] August 19.

723 — 737. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

733–4 not in the MS., but in First edition of 28 pages.

738 — 745. First edition of 41 pages. June 5, 1813.

746 — 786. First edition of 28 pages. Not in the MS.

787 — 831. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

832 — 915. Seventh edition.

916 — 998. First edition of 41 pages.

937–970 no MS.

999 — 1023. Second edition.

1024 — 1028. Seventh edition.

1029 — 1079. First edition of 41 pages.

1080 — 1098. Third edition.

1099 — 1125. First edition of 41 pages.

1126 — 1130. Seventh edition.

1131 — 1191. Fifth edition.

1192 — 1217. Seventh edition.

1218 — 1256. Fifth edition.

1257 — 1318. First edition of 41 pages.

1319 — 1334. MS. First edition of 28 pages.

NOTE. The first edition is advertised in the Morning Chronicle, June 5; a third edition on August 11, 13, 16, 31; a fifth edition, with considerable additions, on September 11; on November 29 a “new edition;” and on December 27, 1813, a seventh edition, together with a repeated notice of the Bride of Abydos. These dates do not exactly correspond with Murray’s contemporary memoranda of the dates of the successive issues.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/byron/george/giaour/bibnote.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31