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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   29 September [1870]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Sept. 29th.

My dear Sir

Many thanks for all your assistance & for the cheque for 10£"10s . 9d2

I did not promise Mess. Appleton stereotypes of text, only of cuts.—3 If you could manage to let me hear (& you will have hereafter to determine) what to charge for the 62 cliches, I shd like to hear soon & inform my correspondents, so that there may no disappointment hereafter.—

I shd. be particularly glad to hear what passage you thought coarse: I cannot remember any except a quotation from Hunter about the female requiring to be courted “to give her desires” or some such words.4 I somehow fancied that a quotation rendered the sentence less coarse; I felt it was so, & I hope it is almost the only one. How to alter it I do not yet see; but please, if you can, inform me which sentence it is that you object to

My dear Sir | Your’s very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

To | J Murray Esqre


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Murray, 28 September [1870].
See letter from John Murray, 28 September [1870] and n. 7. CD quotes John Hunter’s observation that the female generally ‘requires to be courted’ in Descent 1: 273; see also Descent 2: 295–6.


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


CD did not promise Appleton stereotypes of text [of Descent]; only of cuts.

Wishes to know which passage JM thought "coarse". Remembers only a quotation from John Hunter on courtship of female being required "to give her desires" [Descent 1: 273]. He fancied a quotation rendered the sentence less coarse.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 212–13)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7331,” accessed on 28 February 2021,

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