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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   20 November [1860]

Down Bromley Kent

Nov. 20

My dear Sir

Will you be so good as to have sent (charging to my account) a copy of my Journal, addressed to

“Ch. Darwin Es care of Miss Darwin 6 Queen Anne St Cavendish Sqe.”1

I hear from Sir C. Lyell that all the Origin was sold at your sale;2 therefore I suppose sometime there will be new Edition, please observe that I must somehow have clean sheets to correct, as there will be a good many alterations & I wish to keep a copy of each edition for myself.—

Lastly I want to beg a favour; can you procure me a copy of the second & corrected edition of the Origin from N. America?3 I am told I cannot get it through my Bookseller.—   I wish much to have it, to see how some long corrections read in type.

I know how busy you are at this time of year, so pray do not write.—

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Susan Elizabeth Darwin, CD’s older sister, was presumably staying with Erasmus Alvey Darwin in London. She lived at The Mount, Shrewsbury.
See preceding letter. John Murray’s publishing firm held annual sales for booksellers in November. According to CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II), 3000 copies of the second edition of Origin were printed in January 1860. In fact, Murray sold more copies of Origin than he had and had to call for a new edition (see letter to T. H. Huxley, 22 November [1860]).
CD refers to the revised American edition of Origin, to which he had added a historical preface and supplementary material (Origin US ed., pp. v–xi, 116*–21*, 426–32). See Appendix IV.


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.

Origin US ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. A new edition, revised and augmented by the author. By Charles Darwin. New York: D. Appleton. 1860.


Hears Origin [2d ed.] was sold out. Next edition will need a good many alterations. Asks JM to provide him with a copy of the second revised U. S. edition. He wants to see how his long corrections look in type.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.77–78)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2990,” accessed on 16 May 2022,

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