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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   16 September [1868]1

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

Sept. 16th

My dear Sir

I have just received a letter from J. D. Walsh Esqre of Rock Isld. Illinois U. States, saying that he has never yet received the copy of my last book as ordered when book first published..2 Pray kindly make enquiries & let me hear.— The same thing happened with him with 4th Edit of Origin & I had to send a 2d copy, & months afterwards he received the first copy.—3 It is very provoking, as the gift ceases altogether to be a compliment. Several of my foreign correspondents have made similar complaints. The copy for Walsh in my list was directed to be sent to Bailliere New York.4

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch Darwin

Mr W. says he has written to Bailliere of New York who answer not arrived.—5


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from B. D. Walsh, 29 August 1868.
CD mistakenly wrote the initials ‘J. D.’ for Benjamin Dann Walsh. He refers to Walsh’s letter of 29 August 1868, and to Variation; in his letter of 27 January [1868], CD had told Walsh that he ordered him a copy from his publisher (John Murray). Variation was published 30 January 1868 (see CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix II)).
CD ordered a second copy of the fourth edition of Origin for Walsh in December 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14, letter to B. D. Walsh, 24 December [1866]). Walsh evidently received the copy in July 1867 (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to B. D. Walsh, 9 August [1867] and n. 4).
See letter to B. D. Walsh, 27 January [1868]. CD refers to the publishers Baillière Brothers.


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.

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


B. D. Walsh has not received his copy of Variation. Several other foreign correspondents have similar complaints.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.190–191)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6369,” accessed on 21 October 2021,

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