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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   [27 July 1845]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Sir

I sent the last sheet back yesterday to the Printers. By putting 314 pages into the next Part, I have kept this Part to 10 sheets, and I hope to get index and all in another 10 & 12 sheets.

I shall send half of the M.S for the next Part in 4 or 5 days to the Printers.—

In this 3d Part, I have a rather long description of a very curious lizard (Amblyrhynchus) of which Mr Lyell has a woodcut (No 229, p 395 Elements of Geology) & he desires me to say, that he is quite willing to let me have the use of it, if you have no objection.2 In this case would you be so good as to have it looked out & sent to Mess. Clowes: I have indulged myself in another woodcut at my own expence.—3

If the 12 copies, which you so very kindly give me are ready by Thursday morning at 10. o clock wd you be so good as to send them to the Athenæum Club, directed to me. If not ready by 10 oclock on Thursday, would you send them thus “C. Darwin Ee Leaves Green to be forwarded to Down by Westerham Coach Bolt-in-tun Fleet St” all this direction is necessary

Believe me | my dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

I really hope my Journal is greatly improved in this 2d Part.—


The Sunday before publication of the second number of Journal of researches 2d ed. on 2 August 1845 (Freeman 1977, p. 35).
Journal of researches 2d ed., p. 385. The woodcut was originally published in C. Lyell 1838, p. 395, accompanying an extract from the first edition of CD’s Journal of researches. John Murray was the publisher of Charles Lyell’s works as well as those of CD.
This is the woodcut of the size of the beaks of different species of Galápagos finches (Journal of researches 2d ed., p. 379) which illustrates CD’s transmutationist speculation (p. 390) that, ‘Seeing this gradation and diversity of structure in one small, intimately related group of birds, one might really fancy that from the original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species had been taken and modified for different ends.’ In CD’s Account Book (Down House MS) he recorded on 5 August 1845 a payment of £1 2s for ‘J. Lee woodcuts Journal’.


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.

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

Lyell, Charles. 1838. Elements of geology. London: John Murray.


Sent last sheet [of second part of Journal of researches] to printer yesterday. Will send half of MS for next part in four or five days.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.15–16)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 896,” accessed on 28 November 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3