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Letter 7007

Darwin, C. R. to Appleton, D. & Co.

[24 Nov 1869]


CD long anxious for new American edition of Origin to incorporate corrections since 2d ed. [of 1860]; believes such updating has kept English and continental sales high. If Appleton unable to comply, he will ask Asa Gray to find another publisher.

Mentions possible arrangements for U. S. edition of new book [Descent].


Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 24th.

Dear Sir

I am much obliged by your note. You say that Messrs. Appleton

“would also like to have a set of stereotyped plates of New edit ofOrigin of Species on same terms.” I am not sure that I understandthis, for I have not permitted the Origin to be stereotyped inEngland. If it means that Messrs. Appleton will print a

[…] Ihave long earnestly wished for a new edition of the Originin the United States, as it is 92 pages longer than the2nd. edition, besides endless small though important corrections.f2 Ifeel sure that the continued large sale of this book in EnglandGermany & France has depended on my keeping up each edition to theexisting standard of science.f3 I hope I am right in supposing thatMessrs. Appleton are willing to print in some form a new edition, forthough unwilling to act in a disobliging manner towards them I hadresolved soon to write to Professor Asa Gray to ask him to find somepublisher who would print the new edition of the Origin, on conditionof my supplying him with the sheets of my new book as they wereprinted & which book will probably have a large salef4 … I shouldlike in case the answer is favorable to send in M.S. half a dozensmall corrections for the Originf5 […]

you that although Mr. Murray has inserted a notice of my new book,I do not suppose it will be printed for nearly a year, although aconsiderable portion is ready for the press.

Dear Sir, | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin

You will understand that I cannot agree with Mr Appleton about mynew book, unless he is willing to print a new Edit of Origin. Theprice of the latter might fairly be raised a little; as Mr Murrayhas by 1s. & it shd be advertised as largely added to & corrected.

Parke-Benet (dealers) (31 March 1964), Sotheby’s (dealers) (21 May1968), William Patrick Watson (dealer) catalogue 18 (2012)



The year is established by the relationship between this letter andthe letter from Charles Layton, 22 November 1869.
See letter from Charles Layton, 22 November 1869. The firstUS edition of Origin was published from stereotypes of the secondEnglish edition by D. Appleton& Co. in 1860.
On foreign language translations of Origin, see Freeman 1977.
CD had asked Orange Judd & Co, the American publishers ofVariation, about the possibility of publishing a new American editionof Origin; see the letter from Orange Judd & Co., 21 April 1869. CDdid not favour use ofstereotype plates as suggested in the letter from Charles Layton, 22 November 1869; see letter to Asa Gray, 1 June [1869] and n. 9.
CD had just sent a few corrections to the fifth English edition ofOrigin (1869) for its publication in French and German (see letter to J. V. Carus, 20 November 1869, and letter to J. J. Moulinié, 20 November 1869).
The original letter is complete and is described in the salecatalogues as being four pages long. The transcription has been madefrom an image of the first and last pages in one dealer’s catalogue,and quotations from the other two.
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