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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   10 February [1873]1

50A, Albemarle St. | W.

Feby. 10.

My Dear Sir

The success of your work “on Expression” has been so decided & the Sale so rapid that there is no need for further delay in settling with you for the first 7000—copies, although I have still on hand some 500 copies—& have not of course touched the 2000 extra wch are ready printed & will come into a future account2

On counting up the cost—taking into account the outlay on illustrations I find I am able to offer you—on the usual calculation of 23ds profits on the sale of 7000 the sum of One Thousand Guineas—& have drawn the enclosed cheque for that amount wch I hope will reach you safely.3

With best respects I remain | My Dear Sir | Your faithful servant | John Murray

Charles Darwin Esq


The year is established by the reference to the enclosed payment (see n. 3, below).
According to Freeman 1977, 7000 copies of Expression were printed on 26 November 1872. Murray decided to print an additional 2000 copies in early December 1872 (see Correspondence vol. 20, letter from R. F. Cooke, 6 December 1872).
An entry in CD’s Account books–banking account (Down House MS) for 12 February 1873 records the receipt of £1050 ‘From Mr Murray (for first 7000 copies of Expression Book)’.


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.


Encloses cheque for 1000 guineas, CD’s share of profits on first 7000 copies of Expression.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 435
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8763,” accessed on 17 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21