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Letter 2446

Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D.

2 Apr [1859]

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    Thanks for letter of caution about Murray. He has offered to publish without seeing MS. CD thinks book will be popular to a certain extent. Lyell's inducing Murray to publish Origin grates CD's pride.


Down Bromley Kent

April 2d

My dear Hooker

Very many thanks for your letter of caution about Murray. I wrote to him & gave him the Headings of chapters, and told him he could not have M.S for 10 days or so., and this morning I receive a letter, offering me handsome terms & agreeing to publish without seeing M.S! So he is eager enough; I think, I shd have been cautious anyhow, but owing to your letter, I have told him most explicitly, that I accept his offer solely on condition, that after he has seen part or all M.S. he has full power of retracting.— You will think me presumptuous, but I think my book will be popular to a certain extent, enough to ensure heavy loss amongst scientific & semi-scientific men: why I think so is because I have found in conversation so great & surprising interest amongst such men & some 0-scientific men on subject; & all my chapters are not nearly so dry & dull as that which you have read on Geographical Distribution.— Anyhow Murray ought to be the best judge, & if he chooses to publish it, I think I may wash my hands of all responsibility.— And he made very good bargain for my Journal I am sure my friends, ie Lyell & you have been extraordinarily kind in troubling yourselves on the matter.—

I shall be delighted to see you day before Good Friday; there would be one advantage for you in any other day, as I believe both my Boys come home on that day & it would be a almost impossible that I cd send carriage for you.— There will I believe, be some relations in House, but I hope you will not care for that, as we shall easily get as much talking as my ‘imbecile’ state allows.— I shall deeply enjoy seeing you.— Do not fear about interfering with me in your publication; I have little doubt your views will be, & have arisen, independent of mine.—

Do not judge of your Boys intellect at this early age: I have seen how wonderfully they change.—

I am tired, so no more | My dear Hooker | Yours affecty | C. Darwin

P.S. Please to send, well tied up with strong string my Geograph: M.S. towards latter half of next week, ie 7th or 8th that I may send it with more to Murray; & God Help him if he tries to read it.—

I shall be curious to hear how Dr Boott has got mixed up & interested with Lyell, Murray & Co.— I cannot help rather doubting whether Lyell would take much pains to induce Murray to publish my Book: this was not done at my request, & rather grates against my pride. I know that Lyell has been infinitely kind about my affair, but your dashed induce, gives idea that L. had unfairly urged Murray

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2446.f1
    The year is given by the reference to publishing Origin with John Murray.
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    f2 2446.f2
    See letter from John Murray, 1 April 1859.
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    f3 2446.f3
    See letter to John Murray, 2 April [1859].
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    f4 2446.f4
    The context of this and surrounding letters to Murray indicate that CD meant to say that the popularity of Origin among scientific and semi-scientific men would ensure against heavy loss.
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    f5 2446.f5
    In LL 2: 153, Francis Darwin surmised that CD meant ‘non-scientific’ men here.
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    f6 2446.f6
    For CD's previous terms with Murray pertaining to Journal of researches 2d ed., see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to John Murray, 17 [April 1845].
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    f7 2446.f7
    According to Emma Darwin's diary, Hooker visited Down House on 21 April; on 23 April Francis (Frank) Wedgwood and his family arrived.
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    f8 2446.f8
    Francis Boott was a mutual friend of CD and Hooker. See letter from J. D. Hooker, [8–11 April 1859].
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