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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   30 January [1862]1

Albemarle St

Jany. 30

My Dear Sir

I thank you for your very obliging note—introducing to me Mr W H. Bates. What you tell me of him interests me much2   I shall be very happy to make his personal acquaintance if he be in London—& am ready to receive as much of his MS. as he has prepared—as soon as convenient. I cannot of course proceed farther until I have seen a considerable portion of it—to form an opinion of its character & attractiveness. The description you give leads me to form high expectations & if & an actual inspection will enable me to make proposals for the publication wch, I hope, may meet the Authors views

Will you add to your kindness by informing Mr Bates that I am at home daily with the rarest exceptions from 10 to 4 or 5. (Saty only until 2) but that if it be at all inconvenient to call he has only to send his MS. wch I will take the utmost care of & treat as a confidential communication

I thought it wd never do to keep the orchids for your weekly carrier & I hope they arrived in good order3   I take it you & Lyell will be out about the same time   He has only 2 Chapters to finish4

I am My Dear Sir | Your obliged & faithful | John Murray

Charles Darwin Esq


The year is established by the relationship to the letter from H. W. Bates, 25 January 1862 and to the letter to John Murray, 28 January [1862].
See letter to John Murray, 28 January [1862]. The reference is to Henry Walter Bates.
Murray may refer to proofs of the woodcuts for Orchids, which CD had requested in his letter to Murray of 21 October [1861] (Correspondence vol. 9). George Snow, the Down coal merchant, operated a carrier service to and from London every Thursday (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1862).
Charles Lyell was preparing Antiquity of man (C. Lyell 1863a), which was published by John Murray on 6 February 1863 (C. Lyell 1863b, p. vii). Orchids was published on 15 May 1862 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix II)).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Post Office directory of the six home counties: Post Office directory of the six home counties, viz., Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. London: W. Kelly & Co. 1845–78.


Discusses manuscript by H. W. Bates [Naturalist on the river Amazons (1863)].

Mentions CD’s forthcoming book [Orchids].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3420,” accessed on 1 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10