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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   29 January [1867]

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

Jan 29th

My dear Sir

I agree to your proposal about half profits. You must be the best judge, but I cannot avoid thinking that you will make a mistake if you print only 750 copies.1 I beg you earnestly to get M.S. back immediately & let me hear immediately & I will send a servant the same day for it. I want to mark the passages for small type & to make some correction, before leaving home for a week’s rest & I must pay my visit in about a weeks time.—2

In Haste | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. You will understand that I agree for half profits only for the first Edition, for with the weakness of an author I estimate my book at a higher value than you do.—


For Murray’s proposals about his payment to CD for Variation and the numbers of copies he would print, see the letter from John Murray, 28 January [1867].
In his letter of 28 January [1867], Murray said he hoped to send the manuscript to CD in the coming week. CD visited his brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin, in London from 13 to 21 February 1866 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix II)).


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

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


CD agrees to JM’s proposal of half-profits. Thinks it a mistake to print only 750 copies. The agreement on half-profit is for first edition only. CD estimates his book at a higher value than JM does.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 162–163)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5382,” accessed on 28 November 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15