To John Murray 9 [February 1862]1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I will send up to you by a servant tomorrow (Monday) the M.S of my Orchid Book, excepting the last Ch. which can be fully completed before I get first proofs.—2
For Heavens sake be careful of the M.S. for I have no copy of three of the Chapters.—
Inside parcel you will see letter of Instructions to Messrs. Clowes;3 please read & modify as you think fit.—
Urge Messrs. Clowes to print quickly , as I am incapable of changing my work & want to get on with my other Books.—4
Now I have finished the Orchids, I can say with confidence that the M.S. contains many new & very curious facts & conclusions.— I have done my best to make the facts striking & clear. I think they will interest enthusiasts in Nat. History; but I fear will be too difficult for general public. In short, I know not in the least, whether the Book will sell.5 If it prove a dead failure, I shall hold myself to a large extent responsible for having tempted you to publish with your eyes shut.— Perhaps there may be enough enthusiasts to prevent a dead failure〈.〉
My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Sends MS of Orchids except last chapter. It contains many new and curious facts and conclusions, but he has no idea whether it will sell. If it does not, will hold himself largely responsible.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3442,” accessed on 24 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3442