We were very excited this morning to receive a package with our first copies of volume 20 of The correspondence of Charles Darwin, which contains letters from the year 1872. This was a very significant year for Darwin, who was not only re-visiting material from the Origin of species in order to produce a cheap edition, but at the same time was finishing his work on Expression of the emotions, continuing his experiments on insectivorous plants, and also starting in earnest to gather information on worms. Additionally, Darwin’s friend Joseph Dalton Hooker was involved in a dispute with Acton Smee Ayrton, first commissioner of works, about the running of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew; Darwin did some some discreet lobbying behind the scenes to drum up support for Hooker. The breadth of subjects covered in this volume is astonishing, even for Darwin, so it was a fascinating one to produce. We hope it will also be an engaging read.