skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   20 October [1859]1

Wells Terrace | Ilkley | Otley | Yorkshire

Oct. 20th

My dear Sir

I am obliged for your note & answer to my queries.—

I cannot think of any fit ornament or Device for outside: the subjects treated are so many & so general, that no one illustration would serve.2

I will most gratefully send list of private copies for distribution, as soon as you can tell me about what, within a shilling or so, the trade-price will be.3 I am very glad to hear that there will be no delay in the publication.

I am glad to hear that you were thinking of a Device, as this shows that you intend binding in cloth.—

Your’s very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is given by the reference to the publication of Origin.
‘The binding, done by Edmonds and Remnants, was a royal green cloth, ribbed diagonally with wavy ribbing … It was blind-stamped with an elaborate panelled ornament on the sides and in excellent gilt on the spine.’ (Peckham ed. 1959, p. 17).


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.


Cannot suggest an appropriate device or ornament for cover [of Origin].

Will send a list for distribution of author’s copies as soon as JM tells him approximate trade price.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.94–95)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2508,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

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