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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. S. Dallas   11 February 1868


11 Feb 1868.

My dear Sir

I am very much delighted to hear that your first edition has sold so well, & hope that the second may be equally successful—1 The unfortunate delay in publication caused by the Index will I hope not be prejudicial to the book & I shall be finally forgiven.—2

I have a letter from Mr. Murray this morning enclosing a cheque for 30 guineas, being double the highest sum mentioned by him in our original bargain.— This is very kind & liberal on his part, & from what he says I have to thank you for Mr. Murray’s generosity.— I was obliged some little time ago to make use of the cheque for £5.5.0 which you were kind enough to send me, but as Mr. Murray has been so excessively liberal I hope you will excuse me for sending you a P.O. order for the amount.—3 I assure you that I am none the less grateful to you for the kind consideration which led you to send me this money, but as the 30 guineas now received from Mr. Murray will come out of the profits of the book, it is hardly fair that you should be out of pocket at both ends as it were— I shall receive with many thanks a copy of the second edition, as my sheets do not make a fair copy.—4

Believe me | My dear Sir | Your’s very truly | W. S. Dallas—


The first printing of Variation had sold out; a second printing was made in February. See letter from John Murray, 6 February [1868].
CD had expressed much frustration at the delay caused by the indexing of Variation. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 January [1868].
Dallas had told CD that the work involved in preparing the index had turned out to be insufficiently compensated by his original agreement with the publisher, John Murray (letter from W. S. Dallas, 8 January 1868). CD enclosed a cheque for £5 5s. with his letter to Dallas of [14 January 1868] (see letter from W. S. Dallas, 15 January 1868). He also wrote to Murray praising Dallas’s index, and remarking that Dallas had not yet heard from the publisher (letter to John Murray, 9 February [1868]).
Dallas’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for the second printing of Variation (see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV).


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.


WSD is delighted to hear that first edition [of Variation] has sold so well.

Has received a cheque from J. Murray for 30 guineas, double what was agreed upon. Sends a postal order for the five guineas CD sent him [see 5788].

Letter details

Letter no.
William Sweetland Dallas
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 162: 12
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5865,” accessed on 18 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16