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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   27 January [1872]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent

Jan. 27.

My dear Sir

I have today corrected last page of Index &c of Origin. I hope that you will think about the price, on which I wrote before, as well as about printing off copies of Diagram.2

As this is a cheap Book, do for Heaven sake have pages cut, like Lyell’s Manual, and never mind what the senseless booksellers say.3 I am very anxious on that it may have good sale. I hope you may consider it worth while to have it moderately advertised.

Pray hurry on the Printers; they have been wonderfully slow.

You agreed to send copies to chief Scientific Reviews; and do not omit Popular Science Review. As Mr. Dallas, I fancy, is generally rather short of cash, I hope that you will kindly send him the 10£ for Glossary soon4

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Please send me 10 copies addressed to

C. Darwin, Esq Orpington Station Kent per S.E. Railway.

I will send a list of a few copies to be distributed in London5


The year is established by the references to the sixth edition of Origin, which was published in 1872.
In 1864, CD had tried to persuade Murray to have the pages of the fourth edition of Origin cut; Murray had pointed out that booksellers objected to this on the grounds that it enabled customers to read books in the shop without buying them (Correspondence vol. 14, letter from John Murray, 18 July [1866] and n. 6). Charles Lyell’s Student’s elements of geology (C. Lyell 1871) was published with the pages cut (see also Correspondence vol. 19, letter to R. F. Cooke, 12 January [1871]).
William Sweetland Dallas had compiled the glossary for the sixth edition of Origin (see Correspondence vol. 19, letter from R. F. Cooke, 9 October 1871).
For CD’s presentation list for Origin 6th ed., see Correspondence vol. 20, Appendix IV.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Lyell, Charles. 1871. The student’s elements of geology. London: J. Murray.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

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.


Has corrected last page of index of Origin [6th ed.]. Sends instructions.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 283
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8187,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20