From John Murray 1 April 1865
50, Albemarle St. | W.
April 1st. /65
My Dear Sir
I answer without delay your obliging note of yesterday—1
I have no doubt your new work on Domestic Animals & Plants will be one of great value & interest & I shall be very proud to be the publisher—of it as of your “Origin”—2 I do not think you could select a better size than it—& it is of some consequence that your new work shd range with the former—3
I am quite well satisfied that Mr Sowerby Mr Wells & Mr Fitch shd each—in his own department make the Drawings on wood of wch you stand in need—4 I shd be sorry to stint you in number & beg you to put in hand what you think needful, only instructing the several artists to send me beforehand an estimate of their charge I wd urge that all the subjects be so reduced as to come well within the dimensions of the page of your Origin of Species—leaving a fair margin5
I fear I have parted with the cuts of Dixons book6 I was not pleased with him & gladly washed my hands of it—but the Birds can be re-engraved.
I am going over to France for 3 weeks—& in my absence wd ask you to correspond with my Cousin & partner Mr Robert Cooke who will give you the latest intelligence of the state of the Editions of Origin & Orchids—7
Meanwhile if you are anxious to put the cuts in hand—I see no objection— When I return I will look after them & I will also ask you to let me see any portion of your MS wch may be ready.
I was sorry to hear from Sir Ch Lyell a poor account of your health— but hope you are better again
I am | My Dear Sir | Your faithful & obliged servt | John Murray
P S. As I have been prepared from the first for this work & look upon it as the Complement of the “Origin of S.”8 I propose—unless you object to announce it in my Quarterly List of New Works—wch will appear next week9 This will give timely notice to those who possess the Origin—but I shd not think of publishing before November. I shall therefore put the Title which you have sent at once in our List, unless Mr Cooke hears to the contrary.
Chas Darwin Esq.
Will be proud to publish CD’s new work on domestic animals [Variation]. Will announce it as the complement of the Origin. Advises on woodcuts; does not wish to limit number; agrees to CD’s suggestions for artists.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3493,” accessed on 19 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3493