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.


Page 2 of 4


Copyright National Library of Scotland

xml mark-up QA

in the rough, (whichbut I must retain notone Ch. not to be losing
time) & Ch. X & XI well copied: but I would
advise you to wait till more chapters are well
copied. — But, I will do, as far as
I can, whatever you please; but the 3 first chapters &
short Introduction cannot be sent till I get them back from copyists.
At roughest calculation I think my M.S. will
make about 500 pages of type & size of
Lyell's Elements 1st Edition. —

It is the result of more than 20 years work;
but as here given, is only a popular abstract
of a larger work on the same subject, without
references to authorities & without long catalogues
of facts on which my conclusions are
based. The book ought to be popular
with a large body of scientific & semi-scientific
readers, as it bears on agriculture & history
of our domestic productions & on whole field
of Zoology, Botany & Geology — I have done