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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   7 June [1872]1

50, Albemarle St. | W.

June 7

Dear Mr Darwin

I have to announce to you the safe receipt by Mess Clowes of your MS Work on Expression & also to enclose 3 specimen pages purposely set up by Mr Dorrell— The most comprehensive of these No1—will bring the whole MS. into a compact Volume of above 370 pages exclusive of Cuts (some to be worked separately) This wd not be too large, & on the whole I incline to favor this but I wish to have your opinion2   The other two pages have rather a spun out appearance

The Printers are prepared to carry out all your wishes. The woodblocks had better be sent in to them3

I shall announce the work in my next Quarterly Book List4

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

Charles Darwin Esq


The year is established by the reference to the manuscript of Expression (see n. 2, below).
Dorrell, who has not been further identified, was a printer with the firm William Clowes & Sons (see also Correspondence vol. 14, letter to ?, 10 May [1866?], and Correspondence vol. 18, letter to Mr Dorrell, 9 August 1870). The Dorrell family, headed by Edmund Robson Dorrell, had a bookselling and stationery business next to Clowes at 15 Charing Cross Road (Post Office London directory 1872). Expression was published by Murray on 26 November 1872 and comprised 374 pages (Freeman 1977).
James Davis Cooper was producing engravings of the plates for Expression (Expression, p. 26).
No advertisement by Murray for Expression has been found earlier than that in his list in the Publishers’ Circular, 9 December 1872, pp. 820–1.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Messrs Clowes have received MS of Expression. JM submits specimen pages for CD’s approval.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50
Source of text
DAR 171: 409
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8374,” accessed on 13 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20