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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-2513A

From John Murray   2 November 1859

Nov. 2. 1859

My dear Sir

By this day’s post I send you a specimen copy of your book bound— I hope it may receive your approval. Please reply by return & not a moment shall be lost in getting ready the early copies—your instructions seem quite clear & shall be carefully followed.

Now as to price—the book from its bulk & size will not be dear at 14/. & this is the price I propose. At this price the edition of 1250 copies will yield about £240—23 rds of which will go to the author— The only alternative is 12/.—which will yield no more than £150—1

At 14/. the lowest trade allowance will be 9/6 My Trade Sale is unavoidably put off to the 22nd—this will give more time for your copies to circulate— I will do the best for the foreign ones

I am dear Sir (in great haste) | Yours very faithfully, (signed) John Murray.

In the above statement of probable profits, I have not deducted anything for corrections & omissions— They amount in Clowes’ bill to £72:8:—but I do not wish to deduct any part of them in your case, but to let them go into the general account of expenses2 Charles Darwin Esq.

Terrace, Ilkley Wells, Ottley.3

Footnotes

1
Murray’s itemised records of the publishing costs of Origin are transcribed in Peckham ed. 1959,p. 775. See also letters to John Murray, 15 October [1859] and [3 November 1859]. CD received £180 as his share of the profits from the first edition of Origin.
2
CD had offered to pay for some of the extensive alterations he had made to the proof-sheets. See letters to John Murray, 14 June [1859] and 15 October [1859].
3
Murray’s version of CD’s address was not quite right: the correct address was Wells Terrace, Ilkley, near Otley, Yorkshire.

Summary

By this post he sends for approval specimen copy of CD’s book [Origin of species]. At 14 s., 1250 copies will yield £240, two-thirds of which will go to author. Arrangements for early copies.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2513A,” accessed on 29 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2513A

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