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Darwin Correspondence Project

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Darwin Correspondence Project
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John Murray

Summary

Darwin's most famous book On the origin of species by means of natural selection (Origin) was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, particularly politics, travel and science, and had published…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, …
  • … his name and in 1768 acquired a publishing house. The third John Murray, who followed his father as …
  • … house; the seventh sold the business in 2002. The  John Murray Archive  was acquired by the  …
  • … University Library  a similar number of letters from John Murray and Robert Cooke, his cousin and …
  • … had proved to be a scientific best-seller for the second John Murray, to open negotiations with his …
  • … began the business relationship between Charles Darwin and John Murray. Darwin’s next …
  • … . Again he asked Lyell to act as his intermediary with John Murray ( Letter 2437 ), who, without …
  • … had paid Darwin profits of nearly £3000. The third John Murray made a successful business …
  • … ). Darwin’s next publishing project with John Murray in 1869 was a translation into English …
  • … in the  Quarterly Review , a magazine published by John Murray.The pamphlets were not primarily …
  • … his orders ( Letter 8616 ). However, when Robert Cooke, John Murray’s cousin, went round to …

List of correspondents

Summary

Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

Matches: 1 hits

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

Summary

The year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend and supporter; Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and father of Darwin’s friend…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … Variation . In March Darwin wrote to his publisher, John Murray, ‘Of present book I have 7 …
  • … forward, except the last & concluding one’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 March [1865] ). In …
  • … will be ready for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In early …
  • … ‘I am never idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not …

Darwin in letters, 1867: A civilised dispute

Summary

Charles Darwin’s major achievement in 1867 was the completion of his large work, The variation of animals and plants under domestication (Variation). The importance of Darwin’s network of correspondents becomes vividly apparent in his work on expression in…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … of the size of the two-volume work from his publisher, John Murray, he wrote to Murray on 3 …
  • … is as good as praise for selling a Book’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 January [1867] ). A …
  • … to translate  Variation . Indeed, he told his publisher, John Murray, in a letter of 4 April …
  • … time it took William Sweetland Dallas to prepare the index. John Murray had engaged Dallas and …

Darwin in letters, 1872: Job done?

Summary

'My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, 'is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work’, and the tenor of his correspondence throughout the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … to spread my views’, he wrote to his publisher, John Murray, on 30 January , shortly after …
  • … photographic plates with his overseas publishers, and with John Murray’s assistant, the excitable …
  • … of the booksellers, encouraged an originally cautious John Murray to gamble on the book’s success: & …
  • … attractive dishes in his `Literary Banquet’ (letters from John Murray, 6 November [1872] and 9 …

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year

Summary

The year 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working on second editions of Coral reefs and Descent of man; the rest of the year was mostly devoted to further research on insectivorous plants. A…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … of anonymous reviews. Its proprietor was none other than John Murray, Darwin’s publisher. So …
  • … to review me in a hostile spirit’ ( letter to John Murray, 11 August 1874 ). Darwin was …
  • … number of the Review & in the same type’  ( letter from John Murray, 12 August 1874 ). George …
  • … from E. A. Darwin, 17 [March 1874] ). He tried to persuade John Murray to publish a second edition …
  • … authority on marriage customs in  Descent  ( see letter John Murray, 9 May [1874] ). He …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions

Summary

For such an iconic work, the text of Origin was far from static. It was a living thing that Darwin continued to shape for the rest of his life, refining his ‘one long argument’ through a further five English editions.  Many of his changes were made in…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … a larger target audience were also made.  Darwin persuaded John Murray to include a glossary of …

Women as a scientific audience

Summary

Target audience? | Female readership | Reading Variation Darwin's letters, in particular those exchanged with his editors and publisher, reveal a lot about his intended audience. Regardless of whether or not women were deliberately targeted as a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … chapters of Origin of Species to his publisher, John Murray. He hopes that his views are …

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest

Summary

The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression.…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … ‘a windbag full of metaphysics & classics’ ( letter to John Murray, 13 April [1871] ). …
  • … he suspected that very few would actually sell (letters to John Murray, 17 August [1871] and …

Origin

Summary

Darwin’s most famous work, Origin, had an inauspicious beginning. It grew out of his wish to establish priority for the species theory he had spent over twenty years researching. Darwin never intended to write Origin, and had resisted suggestions in 1856…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … In late March, Lyell had a word with his own publisher, John Murray, who had already published …

Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … Lyell, 28 March [1859] ). Lyell suggested the firm of John Murray, publishers of the second edition …
  • … letter from Elwin to Murray, 3 May 1859 , and letter to John Murray, 6 May [1859] ). The …
  • … (letters to Charles Lyell, 28 March [1859] , and to John Murray, 10 September [1859] ), but …
  • … would change their minds without good cause.’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 December [1859] ). …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments

Summary

1862 was a particularly productive year for Darwin. This was not only the case in his published output (two botanical papers and a book on the pollination mechanisms of orchids), but more particularly in the extent and breadth of the botanical experiments…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … buy it. When he submitted the manuscript to his publisher, John Murray, he boasted: ‘I can say with …
  • … in the least , whether the Book will sell’ ( letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862] ). To his …

St George Jackson Mivart

Summary

In the second half of 1874, Darwin’s peace was disturbed by an anonymous article in the Quarterly Review suggesting that his son George was opposed to the institution of marriage and in favour of ‘unrestrained licentiousness’. Darwin suspected, correctly,…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … also wondering whether he should break off relations with John Murray, his own publisher and also …
  • … courteous response, agreeing to all he asked ( letter from John Murray, 12 August 1874 ). …
  • … having been used in a Pickwickian sense’ ( letter to John Murray, 18 October 1874 ). In other …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex

Summary

The quantity of Darwin’s correspondence increased dramatically in 1868 due largely to his ever-widening research on human evolution and sexual selection.Darwin’s theory of sexual selection as applied to human descent led him to investigate aspects of the…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … domestication . Having been advertised by the publisher John Murray as early as 1865, the two …
  • … in the British Museum, agreed about the authorship. John Murray thought it was by Gray himself, but …
  • … me in the face, but not behind my back’ ( letter to John Murray, 25 February [1868] ). Wallace …

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings

Summary

‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … .’ Hooker also directed some of his anger toward John Murray, the publisher of the …
  • … to pay the costs for printing an additional 250 ( letter to John Murray, 3 May 1875 ). In …

Darwin in letters, 1863: Quarrels at home, honours abroad

Summary

At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of The variation of animals and plants under domestication, anticipating with excitement the construction of a hothouse to accommodate his increasingly varied botanical experiments…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of  The variation of …

John Lort Stokes

Summary

John Lort Stokes, naval officer, was Charles Darwin’s cabinmate on the Beagle voyage – not always an enviable position.  After Darwin’s death, Stokes penned a description of their evenings spent working at the large table at the centre, Stokes at his…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … John Lort Stokes, naval officer, was Charles Darwin’s cabinmate on the Beagle voyage – not …

Darwin in letters,1866: Survival of the fittest

Summary

The year 1866 began well for Charles Darwin, as his health, after several years of illness, was now considerably improved. In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of  Origin. Darwin got the fourth…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of On …
  • … On 21 February Darwin received notification from John Murray that stocks of the third edition of  …
  • … out, ‘business would be totally paralysed’. Similarly, John Murray gave as a reason for his decision …
  • … ‘gaieties travelling & War Bulletins’ ( letter from John Murray, 18 July 1866 ). I …

John Maurice Herbert

Summary

John Maurice Herbert was a close friend of Darwin’s at Cambridge University. He was affectionately called ‘Cherbury’ by Darwin, a reference to the seventeenth-century philosopher Edward Herbert, Baron Cherbury, who, like John Herbert, hailed from…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … chapter. Edited by Francis Darwin. 3 vols. London: John Murray. 1887–8. …

Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?

Summary

Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … “for Heaven knows when it will be ready” ( letter to John Murray, 4 May [1873] ). Keeping …
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