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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. J. Murphy   23 January 1877

Old Forge | Dunmurry Co Antrim

23 Jan 1877


I am preparing a second edition of Habit and Intelligence (of which I sent you a copy when the first edition was published in 1869) and am having it illustrated.1 In the new edition there is to be a chapter on Metamorphosis, which will be nearly the same as the paper now enclosed.2 To illustrate this I wrote to Murray asking if I could be allowed the use of some of the woodcuts of Müller’s Facts for Darwin and on what terms. To this I received the enclosed reply.3 I then wrote to Mr Dallas to know if I could get the woodcuts copied from my own copy of the book.4 He replies that he does not think there would be any objection, but he believes if there is any copyright in the woodcuts at all you are the owner of it, and I consequently take the liberty of asking you whether you would make any objection to my doing so.5 I suppose if I were to take leave instead of asking it I should not be in much danger of any unpleasant consequences, but I do not intend to do any thing of the rectitude of which there could be any doubt.

I remain, with sincere respect, Yours truly | Joseph John Murphy

Charles Darwin Esq


CD’s annotated copy of Murphy 1869 is in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia rev. ed.). There were no illustrations in the first edition. The second edition, described on the title page as ‘illustrated, thoroughly revised and mostly re-written’, was published in 1879 (Murphy 1879).
Murphy sent a copy of his paper ‘On the origin and metamorphoses of insects’ (Murphy 1874). CD’s copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
John Murray’s letter to Murphy has not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL. Murray had published the English translation of Fritz Müller’s Für Darwin (Fritz Müller 1864) as Facts and arguments for Darwin (Dallas trans. 1869).
The illustrations for Dallas trans. 1869 were made from clichés of the woodcuts used for the German edition and had cost CD 22 talers (£3 6s.; see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from Theodor Engelmann, 25 April 1868).
Four illustrations made from woodcuts included in Dallas trans. 1869 were used in Murphy 1879, pp. 287, 289, 290, 291.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Marginalia rev. ed.: Biodiversity heritage library: Charles Darwin’s library.

Murphy, Joseph John. 1869. Habit and intelligence in their connexion with the laws of matter and force: a series of scientific essays. 2 vols. London: Macmillan and Co.

Murphy, Joseph John. 1874. On the origin and metamorphoses of insects. [Read 25 March 1874.] Proceedings of the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society (1873–4): 76–92.

Murphy, Joseph John. 1879. Habit and intelligence: a series of essays on the laws of life and mind. 2d edition. London: Macmillan and Co.


Requests permission to use illustrations from F. Müller’s Facts and arguments for Darwin in the new edition [of his Habit and intelligence, 2d ed. (1879)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph John Murphy
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Dunmurry, Co. Antrim
Source of text
DAR 171: 324
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10812,” accessed on 21 September 2021,