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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Asa Gray   24 October [1860]

15 Marine Parade | Eastbourne

Oct 24

My dear Gray

We are in much distress as my poor girl has just had relapse, but is rallying again.—1 To save you labour in vain, I write hurriedly to say that Lyell, like a good & kind man, has been consulting with Murray about publishing your Reviews as pamphlet;2 but they say, though it is against their rule to publish pamplets they would break it though this time) that they do not advise it. That it would be absolutely necessary to spend more in advertisement than the cost of publication; but that this would not suffice, that in short, they are well convinced that it is impossible to get a pamphlet circulated. They say they will do it “but it will be a dead loss”. Under these circumstances it would be no use to attempt it. I am much vexed.— Lyell personally concurs with Murray’s view.— 3

Lyell has highest opinion of the “talent & science” shown in these 3 Reviews— In short agrees quite with me & he cannot well go further. He adds “it would be well worth while if a little Book could be got up by Asa Gray for the theological part is so admirable & would surely have many readers”.—

I now hope Annals of Nat. Hist will put in 2d Part;4 & if they do I will try it on for 3d Part; & I will offer to pay whole expence of paper & printing if they will condescend to accept it. I cannot bear that such admirable essay shd. not be preserved in this country.—

I have no idea whether Sat. R. will insert dialogue.—5

God Bless you | C. Darwin


Henrietta Emma Darwin fell ill on 21 October (Emma Darwin’s diary).
The letter from Charles Lyell has not been found. Gray’s review ([Gray] 1860b) was eventually published privately in 1861 as a separate pamphlet. See Correspondence vol. 9.
CD refers to another article by Gray ([Gray] 1860c) written in the form of a dialogue about Origin. In the hope of having it reprinted in England, CD had sent it to the Saturday Review. See letter to Asa Gray, 26 September [1860].


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

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.


Has been consulting with John Murray about the possibility of publishing AG’s three Atlantic Monthly articles [see 2910] as a pamphlet, but has been strongly advised against it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Asa Gray
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (33)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2961,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8