skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   [after 18 September 1869]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

My dear Mr Murray

I heartily wish your Periodical all success: I wish it had been weekly, as then perhaps it would have killed the Athenæum by a lingering death, & that to me would have been a pleasing sight.—2

I have been sorely puzzled what to write about my book, & know not in the least whether the enclosed will do, or is too long.3

Pray ask your Editor to strike out or alter to any extent.4 It looks now too clearly as coming from me. Perhaps if the Editor wd. put in here & there. “We hear” or “we are informed”—it wd improve matters, but I leave it to his or your discretion.— Pray do not publish anything which seems absurd, superfluous or unnecessary.—

I shall be in London later in the Autumn, & want to consult you about woodcuts &c5

Your’s very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

The M.S. is legible, but badly written, as I dictated it to one of my boys.—6


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Murray, 18 September [1869].
CD refers to the Academy and the Athenæum. See letter from John Murray, 18 September [1869] and n. 2.
See letter from John Murray, 18 September [1869] and n. 3. The enclosure has not been found.
The editor of the Academy was Charles Edward Cutts Birchall Appleton.
CD was in London from 1 to 9 November (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Of CD’s sons, Horace Darwin was the most frequently at home; however Francis and George were also at Down House during the second part of September (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


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


Wishes JM’s new periodical [the Academy] could have been a weekly so it might kill the Athenæum by a lingering death.

Has drafted a piece [about Descent] but is not pleased with it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42153 ff. 39–40)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6900,” accessed on 21 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17