To John Murray 17 [April 1845]
Down Bromley Kent
I was very much pleased to receive your letter yesterday. Mr Colburn has behaved more liberally than I anticipated.1 I find three Nos of the Colonial Library, each of 171 pages, will exactly hold my present vol: & index (without the appendix); now though I shd here & there like to add a sentence, some parts I am sure wd be improved by being shortened, & therefore I want to know how many pages you would prefer the three volumes together to be; & I will try as accurately as I can, to meet your wishes.2 I also wish to know (if you would let me hear soon either from yourself, or a clerk) what are your opinions & wishes with respect to woodcuts: I do not much care about them myself, but here & there, I think there is a subject which would be well illustrated by one.3
Thirdly, when you would like to publish? & how quickly the numbers follow each other? I have engagements for about 14 days, & then I wd, without any halt, complete the whole copy,4 & superintend the correcting the press (the quicker the better) whenever you like: I shall be however a rather slow worker in getting ready my few alterations in the first (or already printed) copy.
You will see, I have gone on the assumption of taking advantage of your offer of three numbers: I could not have made up my mind to have wasted so much time, as it would have cost to have shortened my work ; & I firmly believe it wd have lessened whatever merit it possesses;—in this opinion I found Mr Lyell even stronger than myself.—
I shall gladly accept your offer of 100£ for the copyright, to be paid 3 months after date of publication, & shall be happy to sign an agreement to that effect, whenever you like to send one.5
I hope not to give you much more trouble & remain dear Sir with thanks, | Your’s very faithfully | C. Darwin
In my calculation I have allowed one of your pages to hold 451 words & mine to hold 377 words.
Would the map appear in the First number?6
Pleased to hear that Colburn has behaved more liberally than CD anticipated. Three numbers of the Colonial Library, each of 171 pages, will hold his Journal of researches. Accepts financial arrangements for its publication offered by JM.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 857,” accessed on 13 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-857