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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   12 October [1860]1

15 Marine Parade | Eastbourne

Oct 12th

My dear Sir

I enclose a draft for the amount of your account with many thanks for all your kindness—2 Please send receipt to above address.—

Sir C. Lyell tells me that he hears that the Origin sells yet pretty well which pleases & surprises me.—3 If ever a new Edit. is called for give me some good notice, as I shall have a good many corrections & an Historical Preface.—4

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is given by CD’s wish to add a historical preface to the next English edition of Origin (see n. 4, below).
A payment of £ 42 18s. 8d., made out to John Murray, is recorded in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) on 12 October 1860. The entry reads: ‘Murray for copies of Origin (subtract from the last Bill & do not class)’. It appears that CD was paying Murray for presentation copies of the second edition of Origin (see Correspondence vol.8, Appendix III). He had already received from Murray half of the profits owed to him on the sale of the second edition: his Account book records that £ 318 6s. 8d. was paid to him on 9 July 1860. His note indicates that his net profit at that time was £ 275 8s. A further payment from Murray brought the total earnings from sales of the second edition to £ 636 13s. 4d. (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).
Three thousand copies of the second edition of Origin had been printed. The book was issued in January 1860.
The third edition of Origin was published in April 1861. It includes a short historical sketch similar to the one that had already been published in both the American and German editions in 1860 (see letters to Asa Gray, 28 January [1860], and to H. G. Bronn, 14 February [1860]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.


Lyell tells CD Origin still sells "pretty well", which pleases and surprises him. If a new edition should be called for, he has a good many corrections and a historical preface for it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.82–83)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2947,” accessed on 21 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8