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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   1 April 1859

Albemarle St.

Apl. 1. 1859

My dear Sir,

I hasten to thank you for your obliging letter of yesterday & for the interesting details regarding your work on Species contained in it.— On the strength of this information & my knowledge of your former publications,1 I can have no hesitation in swerving from my usual routine & in stating at once even without seeing the MS. that I shall be most happy to publish it for you on the same terms as those on which I publish for Sir Charles Lyell—viz—I will print an edition fixing the number of copies with your concurrence, according to what shall appear to me (on perusal of a part, at least, of the work) to be adviseable—& before publication, as soon as I can ascertain the cost of its production I will make you an offer amounting as nearly as I can ascertain to 23 ds of the net proceeds of the edition—payable by note of hand at six months from the day of publication xxxxxxx2 I shall be quite willing to give the author 12 copies for himself & as many more as he may require at the trade price xxxxx

Yours very faithfully | (signed) John Murray. Charles Darwin Esq


For CD’s earlier correspondence with John Murray concerning the publication of Journal of researches 2d ed., see Correspondence vol. 3. For CD’s other publications before April 1859, see Freeman 1977.
The copyist inserted crosses in the places where the final text of the letter was to contain precise dates and figures. In the absence of the letter, there is no evidence to indicate what details were inserted.


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

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.

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.


On the strength of CD’s details about his work on species and his knowledge of CD’s former publications, JM offers to publish [Origin] without seeing the MS.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 41913 p.32)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2443,” accessed on 22 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7