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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   3 March [1868]1

50A, Albemarle St. | W.

Mar. 3

My Dear Sir

On making up the accounts of expences incurred in the Second Edition of your “Animals & Plants” Under Domestication”— I find that the sale of 1250 copies, of wch the Edition consists, will enable me to offer you for it, the sum of Four Hundred Guineas, by note at 4 months from the day of publication.2

It is right to tell you that in this calculation I have added to the expences of the 2nd Edn a sum of £30 " paid for paper of the 1st. Edn. & omitted to be charged by oversight— I trust you will not see reason to object to this

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

Charles Darwin Esq


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Murray, 24 February [1868].
Murray refers to the second printing of the first edition of Variation; the initial print run of 1500 copies was sold within a month (see letter from John Murray, 6 February [1868]). Although the title pages of the two printings are identical, several corrections and additions were incorporated into the second printing (see Freeman 1967, pp. 122–3). CD recorded a payment of £420 from Murray on 1 July 1868 in his Account books–banking account (Down House MS).


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


JM offers a note for 400 guineas as author’s payment on sale of 1250 copies of 2d issue of Variation.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 357
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5972,” accessed on 18 January 2022,

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