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Letter 629A

Darwin, C. R. to Smith, Elder & Co.

[17 May 1842]

    Summary Add

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    Gives instructions for sending out copies of Coral reefs to various journals. Discusses the complimentary copies which have already been sent out.




Dear Sir

Will you send copies to the Athenaeum, Edinburgh Review, Jameson's Phil. Journ. & Taylor's Phil. Journ. — You can write from the author on the first page if you please. I did not give the names of those to whom I have sent the other copies, because I thought it did not signify. They are either people who had materially aided me or foreigners, who I thought by noticing the work, would aid its sale. The four copies sent from private friendship you say you have charged to my private account, which is all right—so 21 copies (instead of 20 as originally proposed, the change caused by the addition of Silliman) have been sent gratuitously,—and this is exactly as I always intended, & as was allowed for in the estimate

The copy for Dr. Allan of Forres in Scotland might be sent to Edinburgh & then forwarded (if there by any difficulty on this head) by coach, he paying the carriage.

I took two copies for societies in Paris to Bailliere & he seemed inclined to send some on his own account:—possibly this might be worth looking to.— I leave Town tomorrow morning— Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 629a.f1
    The date is inferred from the discussion of the distribution of one of CD's works. The reference to `Dr. Allan of Forres' indicates that this was Coral reefs (see n. 4, below). Coral reefs was published in May 1842. CD left London for Maer on 18 May and returned on 18 July (see Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II).
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    f2 629a.f2
    The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal was edited by Robert Jameson and David Brewster. The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine was edited by Richard Taylor. According to CD's list of presentation copies for Coral reefs (DAR 69: 108), the Scotsman was also to receive a review copy.
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    f3 629a.f3
    A review of Coral reefs did not appear in the American Journal of Science and Arts, edited by Benjamin Silliman.
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    f4 629a.f4
    According to CD's list of presentation copies, dated `May 10/1842/' (DAR 69: 108), ten copies were sent to friends and geologists, five to `Public Libraries' (that is, to university libraries and the British Museum), and three to scientific societies, in addition to the journals named in the letter. The total number of copies sent, according to the list, was `25 copies some of which to my account'. CD's personal copy of Coral reefs is in the University Library, Cambridge.
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    f5 629a.f5
    CD had received information from J. Allan on the coral formations of the island of Aldabra inthe South China Sea via John Grant Malcolmson (see Correspondence vol. 2, letters from J. G.Malcolmson, 7 October 1839 and 30 November 1839). CD cited Allan's account in Coral reefs,pp. 185--6.
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    f6 629a.f6
    This sentence was transcribed at the end of the letter in Henry Sotheran's catalogue description. However, a facsimile reproduction of the final paragraph in the Christie's catalogue, 7 December 1988, p. 122, indicates the correct position.
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    f7 629a.f7
    Hippolyte Baillière was a bookseller and publisher in London who specialised in French medical and scientific works.
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    f8 629a.f8
    The text beginning `Bailliere' has been taken from a facsimile of the last portion of the letter, as reproduced in the Christie's catalogue, 7 December 1988, p. 122.
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