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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   25 May [1866]1

50A., Albemarle St. | W.

May 25

My Dear Sir

The printing of the new Edition of your work on Species is now nearly completed—& I write to inform you that I have directed that the Edition shall be limited to 1000 copies.2 Calculating, as far as I can upon the recent demand for the work that number may last from 3 to 5 years. I hope this will be agreeable to you.

I rejoice to hear so good an account of your improved health & am only sorry I had no opportunity of bearing witness to it myself—having missed seeing you at the Rl. Society Soirée3 & elsewhere— I remain My Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | John Murray

Chas Darwin Esq

CD annotations4

2.1 I rejoice … improved] scored pencil
2.1 your improved] ‘Future book’ added pencil
Head of letter: ‘Additions Lithograph Plates) Advertise a little | ** Future Book [del pencil] | Copies— [after del illeg] I shall give away a good no.’ added pencil


The year is established by the references to the fourth edition of Origin and to the Royal Society of London soirée (see nn. 2 and 3, below).
Murray printed 1500 copies of the fourth edition of Origin (Peckham ed. 1959, p. 776); it was published in November 1866 (Publishers’ Circular 1866). See also letter from John Murray, 30 May [1866].
CD attended a reception at the Royal Society on 28 April 1866 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). See letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 May 1866 and n. 3.
CD’s annotations were made for his letter to John Murray, 28 May [1866].


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.


Printing [of 4th edition of Origin] nearly complete. Will print 1000 copies which, at present rate of sale, may last three to five years.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 334
Physical description
ALS 2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5099,” accessed on 24 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14