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From Whitwell Elwin to John Murray   3 May 1859

Summary

Charles Lyell has asked WE to pass his opinions on the MS of Origin to CD via Murray. WE is convinced of the value of CD’s researches but "to put forth the theory without the evidence", as in the MS, "would do grievous injustice to his views". The omission of these facts reduces both the philosophical and popular value of the work, by virtue of its dryness.

Supports Charles Lyell’s suggestion that CD should first publish his observations on pigeons with a theoretical outline, for "[e]very body is interested in pigeons". Such a work would generate wider interest and be better understood. A subsequent, larger book would then be approached with impartiality "not to say favour" by a wider public.

Author:  Whitwell Elwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  3 May 1859
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42197)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2457A

To John Murray   6 May [1859]

Summary

CD is convinced that the suggestions [for the Origin?] of both Lyell and Whitwell Elwyn are impracticable.

Will send first six chapters of MS next week. Has taken such pains with it that he hopes corrections will not be heavy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  6 May [1859]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.57–57A)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2459

To John Murray   10 May [1859]

Summary

Sends first six chapters [of Origin] for the press. Asks JM to urge printer to keep well ahead of CD so as not to waste time. This is important for his health’s sake.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  10 May [1859]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42153 ff.56–57)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2460

To John Murray   14 May [1859]

Summary

Approves specimen sheet [of Origin]. Sorry book will be so long. Has now written half of last chapter; it is as long as his estimate of the entire chapter. Now thinks it will run to 6000 or 7000 words. Will do his utmost to improve his style. Anxious to publish soon; he knows of two men already writing on the subject, starting from his Linnean Society paper ["On the tendency of species to form varieties", Collected papers 2: 3–19]. Will send a diagram for the book.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  14 May [1859]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.40–40A)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2462

To John Murray   18 May [1859]

Summary

His health has suddenly failed. He is leaving home for one week’s rest.

Has informed William Clowes that he will begin correcting on the 27th.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  18 May [1859]
Classmark:  John Wilson (dealer)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2463A

To John Murray   31 May [1859]

Summary

CD’s diagram [for chapter on "Divergence of character", Origin] is indispensable.

Finds he will have to make many corrections, his text is so obscure.

A week of hydropathy at Moor Park has done him a world of good.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  31 May [1859]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.41–42)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2465
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