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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   30 April [1861]


Ap. 30th

My dear Sir

The enclosed was written before receiving yours this morning, for which I am much obliged & for your Bill for £480, for which I return you my thanks & send the Receipt.—1

The nine months’ time seems to me perfectly reasonable. In the Receipt you speak of 2000 copies; in your note you say 2500; I shd. like to know which is correct; I presume 2000.—2

I am not surprised at the sale slackening, & I formerly thought the number which you printed rather bold, but I now find so many persons deeply interested in subject that I believe whole Edition will sell sooner or later.— Pray remember to advertise with “additions & Corrections”, for I find that several persons have read the Book twice & thrice, & it is not unlikely that some would buy the new Edition.— When next in London I will call on you to consult about illustrations on my Book on “Variation under Domestication” which slowly but surely progresses.—

With many thanks for your uniform kindness | Believe me | My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin


London. April 29/61 Received of John Murray Esqre the Sum of Four and eighty pounds4 (by his promissery note) for the third Edition (2000 copies) of my Work on the Origin of Species

£4805 Charles Darwin


See the enclosure. The sum represents CD’s share of the profits on the sale of the third edition of Origin. Murray, however, made an error in calculating the sum to be paid to CD. See letter to John Murray, 3 May [1861], and nn. 4 and 5, below.
The print-run of the third edition of Origin was 2000 copies (Peckham ed. 1959, p. 776).
The enclosure is in Box 37(3) in the John Murray archive.
CD altered the sum to read: ‘Three’ and ‘seventy-two’ pounds.
CD altered the figure to read: ‘372’.


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.


Thanks JM for bill for £480 and sends receipt. Number of copies differs in note and in receipt (2500 and 2000, respectively). Not surprised sale is slackening; number printed was bold. Reminds JM to advertise "with additions and corrections".

Will consult JM on illustrations for Variation.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42153 f. 27)
Physical description
2pp enc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3129,” accessed on 24 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9