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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   6 November [1872]1

50, Albemarle St. | W.

Nov 6

My Dear Sir

I feel convinced that such a reception is awaiting your new book, that the number we have printed will not suffice—& that I must throw off at once 2000 more copies.2 It is of great consequence to the interests of the work that the demand shd be met without delay. I write therefore to beg you to send your corrections at once, to Clowes3—or at least that you wd send him all those sheets wch do not require correction

My sale—as you probably know is fixed for Friday & your Book is one of the most attractive dishes in my Literary Banquet—4

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

Chas Darwin Esq


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to John Murray, 7 November [1872].
Murray had originally planned to print 5000 copies of Expression (see letter from R. F. Cooke to G. H. Darwin, 13 August 1872). According to Freeman 1977, 7000 were published on 26 November 1872, but two different issues of the text are detectable.
William Clowes & Sons were Murray’s printers.
Murray’s trade sale took place on Friday 8 November 1872 (letter from R. F. Cooke, 11 October 1872). On publishers’ customary November ‘sale dinners’, see Murray 1908–9, p. 540.


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.

Murray, John. 1908–9. Darwin and his publisher. Science Progress in the Twentieth Century 3: 537–42.


Is convinced that 2000 more copies [of Expression] must be printed without delay in order to meet demand. He therefore asks CD to send his corrections to the printer at once.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50
Source of text
DAR 171: 428
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8602,” accessed on 2 October 2023,

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