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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   9 April [1870]1

Down Beckenham | Kent

Apr 9th

My dear Mr Murray

I had intended last month to write to thank you very much for sending me the Academy; but pray do not trouble yourself, as I take it in myself, & generally find valuable matter for my work.—2 I am steadily at work on my new book, but I do not suppose I shall be ready for press for several months;3 as my progress is always crawling half as far backwards as I advance forwards.—

Permit me to add how sincerely grieved I was some time ago to hear of your dreadful loss: I have lost children & know & can feel what the blow is.4

Believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to the Academy (see n. 2, below).
Murray was the publisher of the Academy; the first issue came out in October 1869 and included a notice of Descent (see letter from C. E. C. B. Appleton, 2 March [1870]).
CD refers to Descent.
Murray’s youngest son, Arthur, died of congestion of the lungs while at Eton in 1870 (Paston 1932, p. 149).


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Paston, George. 1932. At John Murray’s: records of a literary circle, 1843–1892. London: John Murray.


Finds Academy contains valuable matter for his work.

Descent progresses slowly – will not be ready for press for several months.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 207–208)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7162,” accessed on 19 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18