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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   23 April [1871]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Ap. 23d

My dear Mr Murray

I am sorry to trouble you with so many notes.—2 You once lent me, as I believe, the first Edit. 1806 of Sir C. Bell’s Anat. of Expression.3 I want very much to see it again for a few days. Would you venture to send it me, either by Post, (if not too large which I forget) or addressed C. Darwin Esqre

Orpington Stn


☜ Per S.E. Railway

If you fear to send it I must wait till next in London.—

Please tell me how soon you shd. wish for cheap. Edit. of Origin, so that I may arrange my plans & time.4

Yours very sincerely | Ch Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Origin 6th ed., which sold for only 7s. 6d., much less than the fifth edition’s price of 14s. Origin 6th ed. was published in February 1872. (Pall Mall Gazette 31 July 1869, p. 16; Freeman 1977.)
CD’s last letter to Murray himself was that of 13 April [1871], however, he had also been in correspondence with Murray’s business partner, Robert Francis Cooke (see letter to R. F. Cooke, 22 April [1871].)
No other correspondence with Murray concerning Charles Bell’s Anatomy of expression in painting (Bell 1806) has been found. CD first read Bell 1806 in 1840 (see CD’s Reading notebooks, Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV); Murray did not become his publisher until 1845. CD’s annotated copy of the third edition, Bell 1844, is in the Darwin Library–CUL. CD stated his preference for the third edition in Expression, p. 2.


Asks JM to lend him his copy of 1st edition (1806) of Charles Bell’s Anatomy of expression.

JM should tell him when he wants new cheap edition of Origin, so he can arrange his plans and time.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 240–1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7709,” accessed on 21 September 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19