From John Murray 28 September 1
50, Albemarle St. | W.
Dear Mr Darwin
I will cause 4 sets of fair sheets of your new book to be sent to you when printed off2
Clowes has orders to attend to your directions about clichés from the woodcuts.3 If I understand you aright you have promised Appleton fair sheets & clichés of cuts—(not stereotypes of the text of the book)4 In this I see no great harm
I return Cassells Bill, with a cheque for the amount £10"10"9.5 I have written to Dallas about Index6
You have produced a book wch will caused men to prick up what little has been left them of ears—& to elevate their eye brows However it may be eventually judged it cannot fail, I think to be much read—& I think I may venture on an Edition of 2500—copies—
It is with a view to remove any impediments to its general perusal that I wd call your attention to the passage respecting the proportion of advances made by the two Sex in Animals.7 I wd suggest that it might be toned down—as well as any other sentences liable to the imputation of indelicacy if there be any. I cannot help thinking that in the passages above referred to you scarcely do justice to the females witness the advances of the she cat & mare. I know not whether further on in the book you refer to Parrots & the power not only of speaking, but of applying words to circumstances—showing that they understand the meaning of words—8 I have a Parrot of my acquaintance whose accomplishments wd amuse if they did not astonish you
I remain My Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | John Murray
Ch. Darwin Esqr.
Various arrangements concerning the publication of Descent. "It will cause men to prick up [their] ears – & to elevate their eyebrows." JM thinks he will venture to print 2500 copies.
Suggests CD tone down as possibly indelicate a passage on proportion of advances made by the two sexes in animals.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7329,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7329