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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Andrew Murray   23 February [1861]1

Down Bromley Kent

Feb. 23d

My dear Sir

I send by this Post, a pamphlet by Prof. Asa Gray on my “Origin,” which several good judge think very well written.2 Although the author praises me he does not fully concur, & I have thought that you might possibly like to look at it. Could you get it noticed, in 2 or 3 lines, in any Nat. Hist. periodical in Edinburgh?3 I shd. be very glad to have it a little known for Prof. A. Gray’s sake, as well as my own.— I hope this request is not very indelicate; I am far from meaning that I want to see it praised, only just noticed. It is quite likely that you have not the power, even if you were willing to do so.—

I have just finished a corrected Edit. of the Origin, with some additions, I have told my publisher, when it is bound, to send you a copy.— I mention this because, if you looked at the altered parts, you will not find much alteration in the parts; which you attacked.4 To the best of my judgment (however erroneous that may be) these parts did not seem to me to require correction. And if you were to notice these parts, you might think that I sent a copy to you out of Bravado, which I assure you is not the case, & would be vile taste on my part to you, who have attacked me with the candour & chivalry of a Knight of old.—

My “corrections” remind me that I heard too late from a Mr — Mr Crotch who has lately been in Berlin, that he saw the Anophthalmus Raymondi which had been taken in the cellars of a very ancient deserted monastery, near Toulon. I wish I knew whether the account has been published; it is very curious if true.5

Pray believe me | My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin

Nothing in this note need give you the trouble of answering it.—


Dated by the reference to A. Gray 1861a.
A. Gray 1861a.
Murray, who practised law in an Edinburgh firm until 1859, was a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and formerly the president of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. He was the author of a number of papers, many of which treated entomological topics. See letter from Andrew Murray, 3 March 1861.
Murray had published a critical review of Origin (Murray 1860), founding several of his objections on entomological examples. He particularly questioned CD’s explanation of the origin of blind cave insects. See Correspondence vol. 8, letters to Andrew Murray, 28 April [1860] and 28 [April 1860].
See letter from W. D. Crotch, 25 January 1861.


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.


Sends pamphlet by Asa Gray [Natural selection not inconsistent with natural theology (1861)]. Hopes AM may get it noticed in any natural history periodical in Edinburgh.

Will send AM a corrected [3d] edition of Origin. AM will find little alteration in the parts he attacked, which, to the best of CD’s judgment, did not seem to require correction. Assures AM that he does not send his new edition out of bravado.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Andrew Dickson (Andrew) Murray
Sent from
Source of text
R. D. Pyrah
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3068,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9