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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   16 February [1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Feb. 16th

My dear Sir

On account of a Polish Translation, forming a part of a series of all my books, I much want to know whether you think it worth while to bring out another Edit of the “Variation of Animals & Plants under Domestication”.2 In this case I would prepare (as soon as my present book is printed) notes for each Chapter, but I will not undertake this considerable labour merely for the Polish Edit.—

If you cannot give me a definite answer, I will write & tell the Translator. What he is to do for a copy to translate, I do not know, for I do not remember to have seen a copy on sale in any second-hand list—

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Does the new Edit. of the Descent sell at all well?3


The year is established by the reference to Descent 2d ed. (see n. 4, below).
The first Polish translation of Variation appeared only in 1888–9 (Freeman 1977). Charles Darwin’s gesammelte Werke (Carus trans. 1875–87) was the only collected edition of CD’s works in any language produced in the nineteenth century.
Descent 2d ed. was published in November 1874 (Correspondence vol. 22, letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874).


Carus, Julius Victor, trans. 1875–87. Charles Darwin’s gesammelte Werke. 16 vols. Stuttgart: E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagshandlung (E. Koch).

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

Descent 2d ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: John Murray. 1874.

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.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Asks whether JM thinks another edition of Variation worth while. Asks because a Polish translation is planned and he would undertake corrections for a 2d edition, but not just for a Polish edition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 314–15)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9857,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23