Letter of Charles Darwin to John Murray, 2 April 1859

Murray had agreed generous terms with Darwin to publish 'On the Origin of Species'. However, Darwin informed Murray that he would understand if Murray wanted to remove his offer after he had read the manuscript.


Copyright National Library of Scotland

Transcription Mark-up QA and corrections QA

Down Bromley Kent April 2d

My dear Sir

I am much obliged for your note, & accept
with pleasure your offer. But I feel bound
for your sake (& my own) to say in clearest
terms, that if after looking over part of M.S.
you do not think it likely to have a
remunerative sale. I completely & explicitly free you from
your offer. But you will see that it would
be a stigma on my work for you to
advertise it, & then not publish it. My
volume cannot be mere light reading, & some
parts must be dry & some rather abstruse; yet
as far as I can judge perhaps very falsely it will be interesting
to all (& they are many) who care for the
curious problem of the origin of all