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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   5 April [1859]

Down Bromley Kent

April. 5th.—

My dear Sir

I send by this Post Title (with some remarks on separate page) & 3 first Chs. If you have patience to read all Ch. I, I honestly think you will have fair notion of interest of whole book.— It may be conceit, but I believe the subject will interest the public & I am sure that the views are original.— If you think otherwise, I must repeat my request that you will freely reject my work; & though I shall be a little disappointed I shall be in no way injured.

If you choose to read Ch. II & III, you will have a dull & rather abstruse Ch. & a plain & interesting one in my opinion.—

As soon as you have done with M.S, please to send it by careful messenger & plainly directed to Miss G. Tollett 14. Queen Anne St Cavendish Sqre This lady being excellent judge of style is going to look out for errors for me.—1

You must take your own time, but the sooner you finish; the sooner she will, & the sooner I shall get to press, which I so earnestly wish.—

I presume you will wish to see Ch. IV, the key-stone of my arch, & Ch. X & XI, but please to inform me on this head.–

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin

I now suspect my M.S will run out to more than 500 pages of size & type of Lyells Elements 1st Edit.—2


Georgina Tollet, daughter of George Tollet, had been a Staffordshire neighbour of the Wedgwoods and a friend of Emma and CD since their childhood. On several occasions during visits to the Darwins, Georgina Tollet had made suggestions to CD about his experiments and theories: some of these were noted by CD and are in DAR 205. She eventually read the entire manuscript of Origin. Emma Darwin had lunched with the Tollets during her recent trip to London, 1–4 April 1859 (Emma Darwin’s diary). The arrangement may have been made then.


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Sends title and first three chapters [of Origin]. Thinks first chapter will interest the public and is sure views are original. If JM thinks otherwise, he should freely reject the work. Chapter 2 is dull and abstruse, chapter 3 is plain and interesting.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.35–35A)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2447,” accessed on 24 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7