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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   18 September [1869]1

50A, Albemarle St. | W.

Sept. 18

Dear Mr Darwin

The enclosed paper will show that I am about to start a new Monthly Literary Review to convey early & trustworthy intelligence to English Readers on Literature Science & Art & to establish, if possible, a higher tone of Criticism than that now prevailing—2

I shd like very much to announce among my Literary News in the 1st number, a short notice of the New Work upon wch you are now engaged.3 Will you kindly draw up a short account of it for me? The first number will be circulated far & wide & I shall send out many thousand copies—so that this at least will be a favorable mode of advertising— It need not commit you at all as to the time of publication, or of going to press even. I hope to be able to announce at the same time Mr Grotes Aristotle—4

I hope you have recovered from the accident wch I was sorry to hear had befallen you5

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

Charles Darwin Esq

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Good wishes | puzzled— | alter | It [‘is clear’ del] is too clear that [‘it’ del] as it stands it was [written] by me’ pencil, del pencil


The year is established by the reference to the Academy (see n. 2, below).
The enclosure has not been found. Murray refers to the Academy: a Monthly Record of Literature, Learning, Science, and Art, published from 9 October 1869. The new journal covered the same subject areas as the Athenæum. On the history of the journal, see North 1997, 1: 82–3.
The notice appeared in the Academy 1 (1869): 15–16. It announced a three-part work: ‘I. The Descent of Man; II. On Sexual Selection; and III. On Expression of the Emotions.
George Grote’s Aristotle was not published until after his death (Grote 1872).
CD had been thrown from his horse. See letter from A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 and n. 12.


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

Grote, George. 1872. Aristotle. 2 vols. Edited by Alexander Bain and G. Croom Robertson. London: John Murray.

North, John S. 1997. The Waterloo directory of English newspapers and periodicals, 1800–1900. 10 vols. Waterloo, Ontario: North Waterloo Academic Press.


JM is about to start a new monthly literary review [the Academy]. Would like to publish in first number a short notice of the new work upon which CD is engaged [Descent].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 371
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6897,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17