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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   2 January [1867]1

Albemarle St

Jany 2

My Dear Sir

Mr Clowes’ estimate of your MS.2 shows that it will make

Vol I. 648 pages post 8vo " II 624 pages

same size as the origin of Species—independant of contents Preface Index & any additl Chapter—3

This is clearly too much for volumes of that size—& I propose therefore—with your consent to substitute the larger (Demy) 8vo size in wch your work wd form 2 Volumes like the last Edn of Lyells Principles4

On hearing from you the Printer will be set to work

I am My Dear Sir | faithfully yours | John Murray

Ch. Darwin Esq


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to John Murray, 3 January [1867].
CD sent the manuscript of Variation to John Murray on 22 December 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14, letter to John Murray, 21 and 22 December [1866], and Appendix II). Murray also refers to William Clowes of the printing firm William Clowes & Sons.
Murray refers to Origin. In his letter to Murray of 21 and 22 December [1866] (Correspondence vol. 14), CD said that he was sending all of the manuscript of Variation apart from the last chapter and a possible chapter on humans (see also ibid., letter to J. D. Hooker, 24 December [1866]). ‘8vo’: octavo.
Murray refers to the tenth edition of Charles Lyell’s Principles of geology (C. Lyell 1867–8).


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

Lyell, Charles. 1867–8. Principles of geology or the modern changes of the earth and its inhabitants considered as illustrative of geology. 10th edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


William Clowes [printer for J. Murray] estimates that Variation will come to a first volume of 648 pages and a second volume of 624 pages – which is too much for volumes the same size as Origin. Murray proposes a larger size.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St
Source of text
DAR 171: 342
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5345,” accessed on 25 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15