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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   29 April [1869]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Ap. 29th

My dear Sir

Some of the Ladies took off the cover of Quarterly & burnt it, & I had no idea who sent it. I thank you sincerely for the present. The article by Wallace is inimitably good & it is a great triumph that such an article shd. appear in the Quarterly, & will make the B. of O. & Owen gnash their teeth.2 My neighbour, Sir J. Lubbock,3 who had no idea who wrote it, was very much struck with the article, as extraordinarily well done.—

I am delighted to hear of sale of Fritz Müller.4

It is good news that you will print 2000 copies of Origin at 14s, for I think I have brought it up to present standard of Science, as the cost of 6 weeks work.

I am making slow, but sure progress with my present book.—5

Thanks for your kind enquiries about my health: my horse rolled over me & hurt me rather seriously, but I have made a surprisingly quick recovery.6

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Murray, 28 April [1869].
The Quarterly Review was published by John Murray; he had evidently sent the issue containing an anonymous review by Alfred Russel Wallace that discussed CD’s theory of natural selection ([Wallace] 1869b; see letter from John Murray, 28 April [1869]). CD also refers to the bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, and Richard Owen, both notable opponents of CD’s theory. The ‘Ladies’ would have been Emma Darwin, Henrietta Darwin, and Elizabeth Darwin; it is not known why they burned the cover.
John Lubbock.
See letter from John Murray, 28 April [1869] and n. 2.
CD refers to Origin 5th ed. and to Descent.
See letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 and n. 12.


Thanks JM for Quarterly Review. A. R. Wallace’s article inimitably good – and a triumph that it appears where it will make B[ishop] of O[xford] and Owen gnash their teeth.

Delighted at the sale of F. Müller’s book.

Thinks he has brought Origin up to "present standard of science" [5th ed. (June 1869)].

Slow progress on Descent.

His horse rolled over him, but he is recovering rapidly.

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, C. R.
Murray, John (b)
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray archive, Ms. 42152 ff. 201–2)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6718,” accessed on 10 December 2016,