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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   9 November 1872

50, Albemarle St. | W.

Nov 9/72

Dear Mr Darwin

I write under pressure of much business, to let you know that the reception of your Expression by the Booksellers yesterday even exceeded my expectations— not less than 6000 have been taken1   I have not yet had time to ascertain the precise numbers.— The Printers are hard at work but I fear we cannot publish till the week after next

Your other Works have done fairly well2

The modest way in wch you introduced to me your new work on Expression a little misled me as to its probable reception— I had not made allowance for the immense popularity of its author— Long may it last & long may he be able to enjoy it is the hearty wish of his very faithful servt & | publisher | John Murray

Before closing this I am enabled to send you a tolerably correct return of the Sale. To the 5267 of Expression must be added the demands for my Country agents & 150 copies sent out for Author & to Reviewers & Newspapers.

Chas Darwin Esqr

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Academy’3pencil


Murray’s ‘sale dinner’ took place on 8 November 1872 (see letter from John Murray, 6 November [1872] and n. 4).
CD’s annotation is for his letter to Murray of 11 November 1872.


The reception of Expression has exceeded even JM’s expectations; 5267 copies were sold at the annual sale. CD’s modesty about the work had misled him about its probable sale.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50
Source of text
DAR 171: 429
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8616,” accessed on 19 May 2024,

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