Advance sale of Variation has exhausted the 1500 copies printed. Murray sends note for £300 author's payment. Wants to print 1250 more immediately.
50, Albemarle S
My Dear Sir
The curiosity of the Public about your Book, provoked & stimulated as it appears, by the delay, has risen to such a point that the whole edition, including 50 to yourself 50 to the continent, 200 to Scotland & Ireland—1500 copies is exhausted & the demand still continues so that I must send it to press without a day's delay!
This state of affairs prevents the need for having recourse to our preliminary conditions as to delaying the authors payment.
The expences of producing these two volumes have been as you are aware unusually high, but taking into account corrections Illustrations & Index they will still produce a sum of wch the two thirds produce amount to £300.—for wch amount, I have the pleasure to enclose my Note of Hand at 3 Months
I think I may venture on a Second Edition of 1250 Copies, the cost of producing wch, will of course be much less. If you approve of this I beg you to send me any corrections wch may have occurred to you as necessary—
I am very anxious that the present demand sh
I was delighted to observe the great success of your son at Cambridge & cannot close this note without offering my congratulations
I am My Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | John Murray
Chas Darwin Esq
- f1 5844.f1The year is established by the reference to the printing of Variation (see n. 2, below).
- f2 5844.f2Murray had first advertised Variation in April 1865 (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to John Murray, 31 March , n. 2). CD had been working on it since 1860 (see Correspondence vol. 8). The first issue of 1500 copies was published on 30 January 1868; Murray had already sold 1250 at his autumn sale in the previous year (Freeman 1977). CD's presentation list for Variation is reproduced in Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV.
- f3 5844.f3In 1866, Murray and CD had agreed that CD would receive two-thirds the estimated profits of the fourth edition of Origin when half the copies were sold; for earlier editions, CD had been paid on publication (see Correspondence vol. 14, letters from John Murray, 21 February  and 24 February ). There is no record of an agreement for deferred payment of two-thirds of the profits of Variation; in January 1867, CD and Murray had agreed that CD would receive half the profits (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from John Murray, 28 January ). CD entered the £300 from Murray in his banking account under the date 9 May 1868 (CD's Account books--banking account (Down House MS)).
- f4 5844.f4The second issue of the first edition of Variation incorporated a number of corrections, but was not regarded as a second edition (see Freeman 1977).
- f5 5844.f5William Clowes & Sons printed Variation.
- f6 5844.f6George Howard Darwin had come second in the final examination for the mathematical tripos at Cambridge University (Cambridge University calendar 1868).
- f7 5844.f7CD's annotations are notes for his letter to Murray of 9 February .