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To John Murray   21 September [1861]

Summary

Asks JM’s opinion on publishing his MS on orchids. It has new facts, and resembles a Bridgewater Treatise, but only those who care for natural history would be interested. Would share the risk.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  21 Sept [1861]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 106–107)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3259

From John Murray   23 September 1861

Summary

Offers to publish Orchids, giving CD one-half of the profits of each edition.

Author:  John Murray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Sept 1861
Classmark:  DAR 171.3(1): 331
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3261

To John Murray   24 September [1861]

Summary

Thanks JM for his liberal offer [to publish Orchids]. CD fears the public will not be interested, but thinks it will "do good to the Origin as it will show that I worked hard on details and it will perhaps serve [to] illustrate how Natural History may be worked under the belief of the modification of Species".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  24 Sept [1861]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 108–109B)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3264

To John Murray   3 October [1861]

Summary

Would JM object to size of Orchids being same as W. N. Hutchinson, Dog breeding [1850]? Prefers little book, not to look pretentious.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  3 Oct [1861]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 110–111)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3275

To John Murray   5 October [1861]

Summary

Likes the idea of matching Orchids with Origin. Begs for large print and spacing so that the book will not look "ridiculously small".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  5 Oct [1861]
Classmark:  Private collection
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3276A

To John Murray   21 October [1861]

Summary

G. B. Sowerby, Jr has done the drawings for Orchids woodcuts. Calls JM’s attention to the fact that a first-rate cutter must be employed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  21 Oct [1861]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 112–113)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3292

To John Murray   28 January [1862]

Summary

H. W. Bates is, at CD’s urging, writing a book of travel and natural history. CD suggests JM might be interested in publishing it. Recommends HWB and his MS highly.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  28 Jan [1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42153 ff. 28–29)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3415

From John Murray   30 January [1862]

Summary

Discusses manuscript by H. W. Bates [Naturalist on the river Amazons (1863)].

Mentions CD’s forthcoming book [Orchids].

Author:  John Murray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Jan [1862]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3420

To John Murray   9 [February 1862]

Summary

Sends MS of Orchids except last chapter. It contains many new and curious facts and conclusions, but he has no idea whether it will sell. If it does not, will hold himself largely responsible.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  9 [Feb 1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 114–115)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3442

To John Murray   9 April [1862]

Summary

JM is a bold man to print 1500 copies [of Orchids].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  9 Apr [1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 116–117)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3501

To John Murray   2 May [1862]

Summary

Has returned last page of index [of Orchids]. Hopes JM will reconsider price – 10s seems high. Suggests two reviewers likely to be favourable. Sends list for presentation copies.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  2 May [1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 118–119)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3531

To John Murray   13 June [1862]

Summary

CD orders electrotypes for German edition of Orchids.

Asa Gray doubts an American publication is possible but will review it in Sillimans Journal.

[British] botanists have praised it. Other reviews.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  13 June [1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 120–122)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3602

To John Murray   18 [June 1862]

Summary

Superb, but exaggerated, review [of Orchids, by M. J. Berkeley] in London Review [& wkly J. Polit. 4 (1862): 553–4]. Asa Gray thinks almost as highly. "I have not been a fool, as I thought I was, to publish." The Athenæum review will hinder sales greatly.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  18 [June 1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 f. 123)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3609

To John Murray   20 [June 1862]

Summary

It is not certain cuts are wanted by an American publisher [of Orchids].

Has fixed price of £10 for Schweizerbart [Stuttgart publisher].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  20 [June 1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 f. 124)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3615

From John Murray   [1 July – 23 August 1862]

Summary

Account of Orchids.

Author:  John Murray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [1 July – 23 Aug 1862]
Classmark:  DAR 171: 525
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3635F

To John Murray   24 August [1862]

Summary

CD is well content with sale of 768 copies [of Orchids]. Hopes and expects remainder will ultimately be sold.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  24 Aug [1862]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 125–126)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3699

To John Murray   7 October [1862?]

Summary

Reports misprint in announcement of his book [Orchids].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  7 Oct [1862?]
Classmark:  Christie’s (dealers) (27 March 1985)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3753A

To John Murray   22 January [1863]

Summary

Asks that a copy of Origin be sent to Thomas Rivers.

Curious about sale of Orchids. It is too stiff for the public. "If praise from Botanists would sell, it would go off well."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  22 Jan [1863]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 f. 127)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3936

From Emma Darwin to John Murray   [before 17 December 1863]

Summary

CD too ill to write.

Asks that a presentation copy of Origin be sent off.

He has authorised an Italian translation of Origin.

Author:  Emma Wedgwood; Emma Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  [before 17 Dec 1863]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 128–129)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4352

To John Murray   31 March [1865]

Summary

Has made progress [on Variation]. Hopes it will go to press in the autumn. Lists his needs for cuts to be made – altogether 50.

Supposes Origin has ceased selling. Would be sorry to have labour of another edition. A new French edition is wanted.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  31 Mar [1865]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 131–135)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4801
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