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.


Copyright National Library of Scotland

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my best, but whether it will succeed I cannot
I have been quite surprised at finding how much interested strangers & acquaintances have become with the subject
say — Only some small portions are at all
abstruse. — I hope to be ready for press
early in May & shall then most earnestly
wish to print at a rapid rate , for my
health is much broken, & I want rest.
I may add that I shd have to beg for
100 or 120 copies at Bookseller's price to
give to many persons who have aided
me. Pray excuse the length of this
letter. I shall be pleased if you
approve of my work, & will undertake
its publication. — Pray believe me

My dear Sir

Yours very sincerely

C. Darwin