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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   5 [August 1870]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

July 5th

My dear Sir

In 5 or 6 days I shall have my M.S (except last chapter which is partly written) ready to send to Printers; & all wood-blocks, except for one of later chapters are complete.2

Please inform me whether my servant shall leave the M.S (with letters of instructions) at Mss Clowes3 or to you.— I shall be ready to begin correcting Slips on the 22d, after a short absence from home for rest.—4

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Do you know anything about Mr Clowes works in hand—will they be able to keep me steadily at work—it drives me mad to change from job to job.—

I ought to begin, at once, for I am a fearfully slow corrector & always liable to interruptions from illness.—


The month and year are established by the relationship between this letter, the letter from John Murray, 6 August [1870] and the letter to Mr Dorrell, 9 August 1870. CD evidently wrote ‘July’ in error.
CD refers to Descent.
William Clowes & Sons.
CD visited Southampton from 13 to 26 August 1870 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


MS of Descent, except last chapter, is ready to send to printer. Hopes the printer will be able to keep him steadily at work correcting proof. "It drives me mad to change from job to job."

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 209–10)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7265,” accessed on 16 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18