skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   18 [June 1862]1



My dear Sir

I wish much for an answer about the Woodcuts. I am very sorry to be so troublesome.— Ask one of your clerks to answer me.—2

Yours very sincerely | in great Haste | C. Darwin

There is a superb, but I fear exaggerated, Review in “London Review”.3 But I have not been a fool, as I thought I was, to publish; for Asa Gray, about the most competent judge in world, thinks almost as highly of book as does London Review.—4

The Athenæum will hinder sale greatly.—5


Dated by the relationship to the letter to John Murray, 13 June [1862], and to the letter to Asa Gray, 10–20 June [1862] (see n. 2, below).
CD had asked Murray whether he could provide three plates from Orchids for a review proposed by Asa Gray (see letter to John Murray, 13 June [1862], and letter to Asa Gray, 10–20 June [1862]).
Miles Joseph Berkeley wrote an anonymous review of Orchids for the London Review and Weekly Journal of Politics, Arts and Science ([Berkeley] 1862). CD wrote ‘Rev J. M. Berkeley’ on a copy of the review now in the Scrapbook of reviews (DAR 226.1: 87).
CD refers to the critical review of Orchids by John R. Leifchild in the Athenæum, 24 May 1862, p. 691.


Athenæum. 1844. A few words by way of comment on Miss Martineau’s statement. No. 896 (28 December): 1198–9.

[Berkeley, Miles Joseph.] 1862. Fertilization of orchids. London Review and Weekly Journal of Politics, Arts and Sciences 4: 553–4.

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.


Superb, but exaggerated, review [of Orchids, by M. J. Berkeley] in London Review [& wkly J. Polit. 4 (1862): 553–4]. Asa Gray thinks almost as highly. "I have not been a fool, as I thought I was, to publish." The Athenæum review will hinder sales greatly.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 f. 123)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3609,” accessed on 19 May 2022,

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