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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   17 November [1870]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 17th

My dear Sir

I am much pleased at your sale. I suggest, though suggestions to you on such a point are superfluous, that 3000 copies be printed.2 With my distribution & copies & for Review & Libraries, not much more than 500 will now be left on hand.3

I fear I shall not have done correcting till end of year; the corrections are frightful & I think I must have another week’s rest

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Murray, 16 November [1870].
See letter from John Murray, 16 November [1870]. Murray had proposed to print 2500 copies of Descent (letter from John Murray, 28 September [1870]). In February 1871, 2500 copies were printed, with a second issue of 2000 in March (R. B. Freeman 1977, p. 129).
There are eighty names on CD’s presentation list for Descent (see DAR 210.11: 32 and Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix IV).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Pleased at [advance] sale [of Descent]. Suggests 3000 copies be printed. Corrections are frightful and, CD fears, will not be done until end of year.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 f. 242)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7374,” accessed on 6 July 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18