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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   24 [November 1859]

Ilkley Wells House | Otley, Yorkshire


My dear Huxley

I have heard from Murray today that he sold whole Edition of my Book on first day, & he wants another instantly, which confounds me, as I can make hardly any corrections.1 But a friend writes to me that it ought to be Geoffroy DE St. Hilaire: my memory says no.2 Will you turn to a title-page & tell me soon & forgive me asking this trouble.

Remember how deeply I wish to know your general impression of the truth of the theory of Natural Selection.—only a short note— at some future time if you have any lengthy criticisms, I shd be infinitely grateful for them. You must know well how highly I value your opinion.—3

In Haste, for I am bothered to death by this new Edition | Ever yours | C. Darwin


Orders for copies of Origin from book-dealers at John Murray’s trade sale on 22 November ex-ceeded by more than 250 the number available (1192) from the printing of 1250 copies (Athenæum,26 November 1859, p. 706). Instead of printing more copies, Murray called for CD to prepare a second edition immediately. See Freeman 1977, p. 77.
CD cited both Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and his son Isidore in Origin.
CD had not yet received Huxley’s letter of 23 November. It had been addressed to him at Down and then forwarded to Ilkley. See letter from T. H. Huxley, 23 November 1859, and letter to T. H. Huxley, 25 November [1859].


Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

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.


Murray has sold out Origin; wants a new edition immediately.

Asks THH to check whether Geoffroy de St Hilaire is correct [form of name].

Would be grateful for THH’s impressions on the truth of natural selection.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.11: 4 (EH 88205939)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2550,” accessed on 23 May 2024,

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