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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   3 September [1879]1

50, Albemarle St. | W.

Sept 3

My Dear Mr Darwin

I have read great part of your Memoir of your Grandfather & like it much   I have seen no part of Dr Krauses Essay—but can have no hesitation in offering, if it be agreeable to you to take all the risque of the publication on condition of paying over to you one half of the Profits   I think I may venture to print 1000 Copies—and will follow closely your wishes & instructions as to paper—binding &c2

In order to obtain estimate from the Autotype Company it will be necessary to shew them the Portrait to be copied3   Will you kindly furnish me with an impression of it? It seems to me you have drawn an interesting Character of Dr Erasmus Darwin—such as will gain the sympathy of large part of the Public

I beg to enclose my Cheque for £1"19" in exchange for yours of the same amount received a week or two ago   You will perceive by the memorandum enclosed that in making out your accounts this sum, for supplying copies of your Books to you, was deducted from your Balance4  For this cause I return it

remaining My Dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | John Murray

I am glad to perceive that much abused King George III had at least the merit to admire Dr Darwin!5

Charles Darwin Esq


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to John Murray, 4 September 1879.
CD had written a biographical sketch to accompany the English translation of an essay on Erasmus Darwin by Ernst Krause (see letter to John Murray, 2 June 1879).
On the portrait used for the frontispiece of Erasmus Darwin, see the letter from V. H. Darwin, 4 April 1879, n. 3. On the Autotype Company of London, see the letter to Ernst Krause, 14 March 1879, n. 6.
The memorandum has not been found.
George III was reported to have asked Erasmus Darwin to be his physician (Erasmus Darwin, p. 69).


Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1879.


Likes CD’s memoir of his grandfather and offers to publish 1000 copies at his own risk, giving half the profits to CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50
Source of text
DAR 92: B12–13
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12217,” accessed on 18 July 2024,