From John Murray 28 January 1
My Dear Sir
Pray put yourself at ease about the publication of your new book.2 I will publish it for you coute qui coute provided you will be content that I pay you one half the profits of the edition instead of a sum down at first—3 This I ask because—no doubt there is considerably greater risque in this than in the publication of your former works.—4
This work is not intended nor likely to become generally popular but I think after the sale of 6000 of your “Origins” I can count upon 500 purchasers of these new volumes—the “Pièces Justificatives” on wch that work is founded & I wd propose to print an Edition of 750 copies5—in the size type & page of Lyells Principles— like wch it will make 2 volumes 8vo.6
I have heard from my literary friend—but have not yet got back the MS.S from him— He certainly finds it difficult of digestion but he is not a man of science so his opinion is not a fair test altogether—7 Still in the face of it, I venture to submit to you the above proposal.
I am My Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | John Murray
I hope to return the MS. this week | JM
Charles Darwin Esq
JM will publish [Variation] "coute qui coute", paying CD half the profits.
Thinks he can count on 500 purchases of what he calls the "Pièces Justificatives" of the Origin and will print 750 copies.
His literary friend found it "difficult of digestion".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5380,” accessed on 2 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5380