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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   24 September [1873]1

Down | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept. 24th

My dear Mr Murray

I enclose a cheque & will you be so kind as to return the enclosed receipted.2

If there ever is a new Edit. of Expression or Descent of Man I shall have to make heavy corrections in both Therefore I shd. like to know roughly how many you have on hand of both. After your Sale in November, I shd. also like to know about the state of all my books.—3

I cannot tell, without looking to my accounts, but I think the last 2000 of Expression have not been accounted for, & I cannot tell without looking how we stand about the last reprint of old Origin of Species.—4 I shall soon begin & prepare another small book, but it will be one which will sell very sparingly & so will a second small one, I am sorry to say.—5

In Haste | yours very sincerely | Ch Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Murray, 23 September [1873].
CD was settling a debt for presentation copies of books with Murray (see letter from John Murray, 23 September [1873] and n. 2).
Murray customarily held a ‘sale dinner’ in November, at which he sold books to the book trade (Murray 1908–9, p. 540).
CD probably refers to the thirteenth thousand of Origin 6th ed. (see Freeman 1977, p. 86).


Climbing plants 2d ed.: The movements and habits of climbing plants. 2d edition. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

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.

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Murray, John. 1908–9. Darwin and his publisher. Science Progress in the Twentieth Century 3: 537–42.

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.


CD will have to make heavy corrections in Expression and Descent if there ever is a new edition of either.

Will soon begin another book [Insectivorous plants].

It and a second one [Cross and self-fertilisation] will sell only "very specially".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 352–3)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9066,” accessed on 4 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21