The volume was published in June-July 1807 as a small octavo, printed and published by S. and J. Ridge of Newark in the UK and sold by the London booksellers: Crosby and Co.; Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme; F. and C. Rivington; and J, Mawman. The full title was Hours of Idleness; a Series of Poems Original and Translated. By George Gordon, Lord Byron, a Minor. It consisted of 187 pages with thirty-nine poems. Of these, nineteen came from the original Fugitive Piece volume, while eight had first appeared in Poems on Various Occasions. Twelve were published for the first time. The "Fragment of a Translation from the 9th Book of Virgil's AEneid" was included as "The Episode of Nisus and Euryalus, A Paraphrase from the AEneid, Lib. 9," made up of 406 lines.
Critic Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux wrote of the volume: "The poesy of this young lord belongs to the class which neither gods nor men are said to permit." He attacked the poems as "effusions ... spread over a dead flat" like "so much stagnant water" and accused Byron of being disingenuous, "pleading his minority" while seeming at the same time to say, "See how a minor can write!"
In a letter to John Cam Hobhouse, Byron wrote of his reaction: "As an author, I am cut to atoms by the E[dinburgh] Review, it is just out, and has completely demolished my little fabric of fame."