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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   25 February [1868]

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Feb. 25th

My dear Sir

I am very much obliged for your generosity about the dozen Copies.—1

(I am sorry the copy has not been already despatched to Mr Swinhoe.—2 You can send it by Book Post viâ Southampton at 4d under each 4 oz.— (see Postal Guide p. 72.) & please weigh carefully.)3

I enclose list of 8 copies: please retain 4 others, in case I receive aid & have to make some return as a compliment.—4

I am positively told that Berthold Seeman wrote Review in Athenæum: if so I know the cause, as I was forced once to refuse him a Testimonial, since which he has exhibited enmity to me, & before was too friendly.5 Dr Gray would strike me in the face, but not behind my back.—6 On the whole the Reviews have been very good; especially, for selling in Gard. Chronicle.7

My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


CD refers to author’s copies of the second printing of Variation. See letter from John Murray, 24 February [1868].
Robert Swinhoe. See letter from John Murray, 24 February [1868] and n. 3.
CD refers to the British postal guide.
CD’s presentation list for the second printing of Variation indicates that Murray gave him twelve copies; however sixteen names appear on his list for the book (see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV).
CD refers to Berthold Carl Seemann. CD mentioned Seemann’s request for a testimonial in a letter to J. D. Hooker, 22 and 28 [October 1865] (Correspondence vol. 13); no further correspondence on the matter has been found. The review of Variation in the Athenæum was by John Robertson ([Robertson] 1868a).
Murray had thought the Athenæum review was by John Edward Gray (see letter from John Murray, 24 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.


Thanks JM for presentation copies [of Variation]. Sends directions and list.

Has been told positively that hostile review in Athenæum was by Berthold Seemann, to whom he once refused a testimonial.

On the whole, reviews have been very good.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 182–183)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5931,” accessed on 30 September 2020,

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