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Letter 378A

Darwin, C. R. to Spearman, A. Y.

20 Sept 1837

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    Encloses a statement [see 377a] from Smith, Elder & Co., which appears to provide the best plan for the expenditure of the grant. Asks that it be presented for their Lordships' consideration. Also encloses a prospectus.


36 Great Marlborough Stt

September 20th 1837


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of August 31st, informing me that the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury had been pleased to grant the sum of 1000£ in aid of the publication of the materials, which I have collected in Natural History.

After consultation in various quarters, the plan suggested by Smith, Elder and Cony appears to me very much the best. In compliance with their Lordships desire, I have enclosed, a statement from that house, and I hope their Lordships will be satisfied with its advantage. In case of any accident, as my death, it may be observed, that since the public money is only drawn as the vouchers for each part or number are produced, the work as far as it had then gone, would be complete. I have also enclosed a copy of the prospectus, which will be issued immediately that I receive an intimation of their Lordships approval, and by this the nature of the intended publication will be best understood. From the principle of the Publisher avoiding any great risk (as explained in the accompanying paper) and therefore not demanding more than a small commission profit (and I myself having no profit) the work will appear in a form, and at a cheap rate, which it is not affirming too much to say has never been equalled. Might I beg, Sir, that you would have the goodness to place this and the accompanying documents for their Lordships consideration at an early day, as it is of the greatest consequence, that we might be able to put the artists to work immediately.

I have the honor to remain | Sir | Your faithful and obedient servant | Charles Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 378a.f1
    The previous letter, from Smith, Elder & Co., 12 September 1837.
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    f2 378a.f2
    A prospectus for Zoology in Syms Covington's hand is preserved in the Public Record Office (T1 4524/19899). This appears to be a draft of the printed prospectus (see Freeman 1977, p. 26, and letter to J. S. Henslow, [19 November 1837]).
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