Various arrangements concerning the publication of Descent. “It will cause men to prick up [their] ears – & to elevate their eyebrows.” JM thinks he will venture to print 2500 copies.
Suggests CD tone down as possibly indelicate a passage on proportion of advances made by the two sexes in animals.
50, Albemarle St. | W.
Dear Mr Darwin
I will cause 4 sets of fair sheets of your new book to be sentto you when printed offf2
Clowes has orders to attend to your directions about clichés fromthe woodcuts.f3 If I understand you aright you have promised Appletonfair sheets & clichés of cuts—(not stereotypes of the text ofthe book)f4 In this I see no great harm
You have produced a book wch will caused men to prick up what littlehas been left them of ears—& to elevate their eye brows However it may be eventually judged it cannot fail, I think to be muchread—& I think I may venture on an Edition of 2500—copies—
It is with a view to remove any impediments to its general perusal that Iwd call your attention to the passage respecting the proportion of advancesmade by the two Sex in Animals.f7 I wd suggest that it might be toneddown—as well as any other sentences liable to the imputation of indelicacyif there be any. I cannot help thinking that in the passages above referred toyou scarcely do justice to the females witness the advances of the she cat &mare. I know not whether further on in the book you refer to Parrots & thepower not only of speaking, but of applying words to circumstances—showingthat they understand the meaning of words—f8 I have a Parrot of myacquaintance whose accomplishments wd amuse if they did not astonish you
I remain My Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | John Murray
Ch. Darwin Esqr.