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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   5 October [1861]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Oct. 5.

My dear Sir

I think it very good idea to match the Origin; but then I must beg you to have large type & lines wider apart, otherwise the Book will look ridiculously small; but of that hereafter.

The advertisement reads well; I always spell Fertilisation & not Fertilization—2 I will attend to outside ornament.3

Yours sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is given by reference to the details concerning the publication of Orchids. See letters to John Murray, 21 September [1861] and 3 October [1861].
An advertisement for Orchids appeared in the column ‘Our weekly gossip’ in the Athenæum, 5 October 1861, p. 448: ‘Mr. Charles Darwin has prepared for publication a small work, containing his experience “On the Fertilization of British Orchids by means of Insects.” It will form a sort of sequel to his work, the “Origin of Species”.’
See letter to John Murray, 24 September [1861]. An embossed illustration of a Cycnoches flower appeared in gilt on the cover of Orchids (see Orchids, p. 266).


Athenæum. 1844. A few words by way of comment on Miss Martineau’s statement. No. 896 (28 December): 1198–9.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.


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

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
Private collection
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3276A,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

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