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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Andrew Murray   12 August 1867

67 Bedford Gardens | Kensington

12 August 1867

My dear Sir

I am going to do something wh. I feel sure must give you pleasure.— I take it that you have spent more time than any other man in picking the kernels out of books of travels—and that you must be more sensible than others to the great advantage wh. a regular record of the Nat: Hist: facts scattered thro’ books of travels would be of to the Naturalist—

I am going to make the somewhat desperate attempt to revive the Natural Histy Review—or rather to start another Journal of the same stamp, and to help to make it go I shall add travels to the subjects reviewed—and altho I shall not confine such reviews to Nat: Hist: topics, practically they will be reviewed from the Nat. Hist. point of view.—1

Fancy what an Ease it would have been to you to have had a Journal of Travels extending over a number of years in wh. the Nat: Histy points incidentally touched on in each were all buoyed off & all you had to do was to run your Eye down the Index— For me a mere list of travels in Each Country (like Engelmanns German one)2 would have been often most valuable—

Now as one good turn deserves another, even when done not expressly for our behoof, and here I assure you the advantage wh such a record would be of to such studies as yours was the thing that put the idea in my head, I have come to ask the other.— It is to point out to me from your past experience the way in wh. I should work the idea so as to be most useful— of course I have my own notions on the subject derived from my own past Experience but as yours has been so vastly more Extensive, not to speak of other good causes, I turn to you as a better guide

I propose to eliminate from this Journal all heavy original articles many of wh. in the old N H. Review were only fitted for the pages of Scientific Transactions, & to have no laborious Essays in shape of Reviews, but simply a fair account of the contents of the book reviewed— Correspce. from travellers & collectors abroad and original papers from those at home containing isolated facts or special information or new ideas with a miscellaneous corner will complete the contents

Believe me my dear Sir Yours very truly | Andw. Murray


The Natural History Review ceased publication with volume 5 in 1865 (see A. Desmond 1994–7, 1: 342–3). The journal that Murray started was the Journal of Travel and Natural History; only one volume was published, containing issues from 1868 and 1869.
The reference is to the German publishing firm Wilhelm Engelmann, whose titles included many travel and natural history publications. The list of travels referred to has not been identified.


Desmond, Adrian. 1994–7. Huxley. 2 vols. London: Michael Joseph.


He is planning a new journal to replace Natural History Review. Unlike the old one, it would be confined to reviews and would include an index of works on travel.

Letter details

Letter no.
Andrew Dickson (Andrew) Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Bedford Gardens, 67
Source of text
DAR 171: 328
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5604,” accessed on 25 July 2024,

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