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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   24 February [1868]1

50A, Albemarle St. | W.

Feby 24

My Dear Sir

I expect the Printer’s work on the 2nd Edition of your Book is completed today.2 Copies may be ready for delivery Wed or Thursday. I have printed 1250 Copies—& shall be happy to present you with a Dozen wch shall be sent to you as soon as ready—unless I receive instructions from you to dispose of them otherwise— I am puzzled how to get the Copy for Mr Swinhoe conveyed to Amoy.3 Can you suggest any safe mode?

I read the Review of you in the Athenæum— It strikes me you may be indebted to Mr John Edw Grey of the Brit Museum for it!4 But perhaps you are better informed—

I remain | My Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | John Murray

Chas Darwin Esq


The year is established by the reference to the second printing of Variation.
After the initial print-run of Variation had sold out, Murray and CD had agreed to issue a second printing with a few additions and corrections (see letter to John Murray, 9 February [1868], and letter from John Murray, 12 February [1868]).
For CD’s presentation list for the first and second printings of Variation, see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV. Robert Swinhoe was acting consul in Amoy (now Xiamen), China. His name appears on CD’s presentation list for the first printing.
A critical review of Variation was published in the Athenæum ([Robertson] 1868a). Murray refers to John Edward Gray. See letter to J. E. Gray, 17 February [1868] and n. 4.


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

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

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


Second issue [of Variation] is ready.

Murray thinks that the Athenæum review was written by J. E. Gray [see 5931].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 356
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5923,” accessed on 25 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16