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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   30 January 1872

Down Beckenham | Kent

Jan 30 | 1872

My dear Sir

I want very much to beg a favour of you.

There will hereafter be no further alterations in the “Origin”, & I am extremely anxious to spread my views. Therefore I want the new edition to appear in America. As Messrs Appleton made new stereotype plates for the last Edit., my only chance of persuading him is to offer him stereotypes of the new edit., at only a very little above the cost price.1 In this case perhaps I cd persuade him, though I am very doubtful on this head, to purchase the new plates, after he has sold every copy of his last edition. You will see that there must thus be some delay, & if any copies of the English edit. are sold in America, which I presume is not likely, there wd be time for their sale. Now I hope & trust you will grant me this request; if so kindly inform me soon what wd be the charge for a complete set of the stereotype plates, so that I cd write & inform Messrs Appleton what wd be the total cost, excepting that of the carriage to America—

My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

As the whole of new Edit. is now type, Mess. Clowes2 will know number of stereotyped plates.—


Appletons of New York published a third US edition of Origin from stereotypes of the sixth London edition in 1873 (Origin 3d US ed.; see Freeman 1977). The head of the firm was William Henry Appleton. On the printing of the second US edition of Origin, see Correspondence vol. 17, letter from Charles Layton, 25 November 1869).
William Clowes & Sons were Murray’s printers.


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.

Origin 3d US ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. From the 6th London edition. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 1873.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Requests that JM make stereotype plates of 6th edition of Origin available to D. Appleton. This will be last edition and CD is "extremely anxious" to spread his views.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 272–3)
Physical description
LS(A) 3pp & ADraft 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8188,” accessed on 18 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20