Sheets [of Origin] up to p. 240 are ready. Asks how many copies and how soon JM will publish. Hopes as soon as possible because of his health. Bitterly disappointed at delay he has caused.
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I wrote some time ago to say so many sheets were ready to print off. Now up to
p. 240 (& 72 more as good as ready) are ready.— I
When you write will you be so kind as to say how early in the autumn you will permit the publication of my volume: for reasons before assigned I am anxious for as little delay as possible. If my health does not fail again, I surely shall finish correcting by end of September; & there will then be only short index.— I wish partly to know about time of publication, on account of leaving home for some months immediately last proof is finished, & I might perhaps do index from home.—
One more question, & I have done; would there be any objection to my distributing my private copies (from 40 to 80 according to cost) as soon as they are printed off, or do you not like this slight forestalling? Forgive the trouble. It has been a bitter disappointment to me having caused such delay in getting my Book ready.—
My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
- f1 2484.f1The first printing was 1250 copies (see Freeman 1977, p. 75). CD recorded this number in his ‘Journal’ (Appendix II). See also letter from Whitwell Elwin to John Murray, 3 May 1859, n. 1.
- f2 2484.f2Murray agreed to CD's request. Presentation copies were sent out a week before Murray's autumn sale to dealers, held on 22 November (Freeman 1977, p. 75). For a list of presentation copies, see Appendix VIII.