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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   [23 August 1845]

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Sir

I am really mortified to find that I have transgressed my limits again— I had in truth thought this part1 with the index wd have been 168 pages; I now find without the index it has run to 174. I am astonished at this & much vexed. I have had to rewrite two Chapters, & these have, I presume, been lengthened, though I have struck out many whole pages & discussions.2 I now send this proof sheet to ask, whether you wd like to strike out, my rather dull little account p. 486 of the C. of Good Hope (as explained for the Printers in the enclosed bit of paper) & this, with the closing up, will save four pages;3 & I think if the index, is in very small type, it will go in the six last pages of this last sheet.

The contents must, of course be on a separate half sheet.—

Please decide freely as you like, & send the sheets early on Monday to the Printers, requesting them to send me a revise, if possible, by the general Post on Monday night.—

I know how late it is, but I have worked like a slave & have not lost one half hour: I sent the index on last Thursday to the Printers & hope to have a proof tomorrow morning—

I will communicate with you again in a few days.

Part I has 176 pages

—— II has 160

—— III has, if index will go in & you strike out the C. of Good Hope 176 so that I have exceeded by one whole sheet, what I promised you, & very sorry I am.

Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

I was gratifyed by seeing two most favourable notice, & an extract in the Gardeners Chronicle,4 evidently by Lindley, with whom I am not acquainted, except by correspondence.—


The third and final number of Journal of researches 2d ed.
The chapters in question were those on the Galápagos and Keeling Islands. The first included new information on the flora from Joseph Dalton Hooker and on the insects from George Robert Waterhouse. The Keeling Islands chapter was expanded by a detailed summary of CD’s theory of coral reefs.
The passages were omitted, but this number nevertheless came to 182 pages (Freeman 1977, p. 39).
Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 32, 9 August 1845, p. 546; no. 33, 16 August 1845, p. 563.


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.


Has again overrun his limits [in MS of third part of Journal of researches]. Sends JM a proof sheet of his account of Cape of Good Hope for decision whether to strike it out and save four pages.

Favourable notice of Journal has appeared in Gardeners’ Chronicle.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff. 31–32)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 903,” accessed on 28 November 2021,

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