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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Murray   20 February [1871]1

50, Albemarle St. | W.

Feby 20

My Dear Sir

I am glad to know that you received your new Book in good time & are satisfied with its appearance—2 I cannot yet pronounce with certainty when a new Edn. may be called for   what is certain is that the booksellers demand has exhausted the first   It may take weeks or days to exhaust their supplies, but there is no harm in making every preparation for it. Any corrections for the American & other Edns. had better be sent by Bookpost at once   As the type is standing you have only to send your corrected sheets to Clowes3 & desire him to give you the number of corrected proofs of each wch you may require. Wallace, Mivart & Cobbe have all got their vols II—4 Press copies go out today & I hope to publish on Friday.5

Thank you for your kind promise to support Mr Cooke at the Athenæum   I know how difficult it is for you to be out in the evening, but the early ballot takes place between 5 & 6, in case you sd be in town6

Perhaps you may consider that you know him sufficiently well, to add your name to his Card, wch wd be a great feather in his Cap

My dear Sir | yours very sincerely | John Murray

I hope to see you Thursday or Friday.

Ch. Darwin Esq


The year is established by the references to the publication of Descent.
Descent was printed by William Clowes & Sons.
Alfred Russel Wallace, St George Jackson Mivart, and Frances Power Cobbe had been sent advance copies of volume 1 of Descent (letters to R. F. Cooke, 17 January [1871] and 30 January [1871]).
Descent was published on Friday 24 February 1871 (Freeman 1977).
See letter from John Murray, 18 February [1871], and letter to John Murray, 19 February [1871]. CD was in London from 23 February to 2 March 1871 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). Robert Francis Cooke was hoping to become a member of the Athenaeum Club.


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.


A second edition [issue] of Descent may be needed in short time; preparations should be made, and corrections sent to Clowes. Wallace, Mivart, and F. P. Cobbe have been sent copies of both volumes.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50
Source of text
DAR 171: 388
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7496,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19