CD is astonished at sale of Origin [to booksellers].
Arranges to start new edition immediately. Cannot change much [while at Ilkley Wells], nor work rapidly because of health. Relieved that JM has no cause to repent of publishing Origin.
⇒ Ilkley Wells House | Otley, Yorkshire
My dear Sir
I am astounded at your news of sale. I cannot cut up my one
copy, for I am incessantly receiving letters with references. Will you send me another
copy if possible in sheets, & I will immediately send off half a dozen
sheets to M
I am infinitely obliged about French Edition.
About your “note of hand” please do whatever is usual: you can either deduct for my presentation copies (& I thank you sincerely for all the trouble, which you have taken) or I will pay you at once.
I will begin this evening looking over my copy for corrections. In Haste with hearty thanks.
I do rejoice that you will not have cause to repent of publishing; at one time I was extremely fearful & annoyed at thought that you might repent
In Haste. Yours sincerely & obliged | C. Darwin
Perhaps you had better tell me how soon you want new Edition I am up to very little work.—
- f1 2549.f1Murray's letter has not been found, but see the letter to T. H. Huxley, 24 [November 1859] and n. 1. In a letter written at Shrewsbury late in November 1859, Emma Darwin told William Erasmus Darwin (DAR 210.6): ‘It is a wonderful thing the whole edition selling off at once & Mudie taking 500 copies. Your father says he shall never think small beer of himself again & that candidly he does think it very well written.’ Charles Edward Mudie was the proprietor of ‘Mudie's select library’, a subscription lending library that began in London in 1842 and came to have offices in Manchester and Birmingham, and to number over 25,000 subscribers (DNB). According to contemporary advertisements in Athenæum, Mudie's library also supplied book societies and village libraries, and consisted ‘chiefly of works of permanent interest and value’. Origin is first listed among its stock in Athenæum, 3 December 1859, p. 724.
- f2 2549.f2CD presumably refers to his reference in Origin to whale fossils being found in Secondary formations. See letter to Charles Lyell, 20 September , and preceding letter.
- f3 2549.f3See letter to John Murray, 14 November .
- f4 2549.f4See letter to John Murray, 15 October , in which CD stated his intention to buy 70 copies of Origin for presentation. There is no record of the precise number of copies presented by CD, but see Appendix VIII.