Letter of Charles Darwin to John Murray, 31 March 1859

Darwin's friend, the geologist Sir Charles Lyell, had suggested that Murray publish his work 'On the Origin of Species'. When Darwin contacted Murray, he outlined the work and proposed chapter headings.

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Copyright National Library of Scotland

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Introductory Remarks with briefest outline of whole Book


I. Variation under Domestication; or the origin &
mode of formation of our domestic Productions
II. Variation under Nature (short & dry chapter)
III. Struggle for Existence (short & rather interesting Ch)
IV. Natural Selection (important; parts rather abstruse)
V. Laws of Variation (many curious facts)
VI. Difficulties in Transitions of Organs & Beings
VII. Instinct (interesting chapter)
VIII. Hybridism (rather long & rather curious Chapter)
IX. Geological succession of Beings on
this earth (long chapter)
X. Geographical Distribution of Beings (long chapter)
XI. Affinities; Classification: Embryology
Rudimentary Organs (important & I think
good Ch.)
XII. Recapitulation & Conclusion (short Chapter)


Mar 31 1859
Darwin Chas