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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Shoberl  [22 or 23 September 1837]

[36 Great Marlborough Street]

Dear Sir

I am obliged to you for sending the document.—1 Which I think I had full right to demand, although I do not at all suppose it would ever have been wanted. I am sorry I should have been the cause of so much trouble and I trust it will be the last time.—

Before night I will send you the whole of my M.S. with the woodcuts.—

The Chapters & everything are complete.—

I will write to the Printer myself, about where to send the slips. Mr Colburn had the kindness to say he would see the revise corrected I will write at the head of every page of slip, both date, 〈    〉 double heading of 〈    〉 & subject, when 〈the〉 latter is of sufficient importance.— So that, whoever looks over it, will only have to put the place on the left page & the subject on the right.— I have the pleasure of acknowledging the obliging manner, in which yourself & Mr Colburn, have assisted me in this my first publication.

Yrs. truly | Charles Darwin

I shall go down on Monday to “Shrewsbury”2


The document was an agreement Henry Colburn had made with Robert FitzRoy concerning the separate publication of CD’s Journal and remarks. A copy in CD’s hand, which he sent to John Murray in 1845 when arranging for publication of the second edition of Journal of researches, reads as follows: London Sept. 22d. 1837 This is to certify that after the completion of the sale of the first edition of the Voyages of Capts. King, & FitzRoy and Mr. Darwin, Mr Darwin is to be at liberty to publish his own Journal in any manner he pleases, separately from the general narrative, but this permission is not to prevent Capts. King & FitzRoy from continuing to unite it [interl] with their own Journals in subsequent editions of the general work Henry Colburn(John Murray Archive) In his letter to Murray, CD states that the agreement was made without consulting him (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to John Murray, [10 April 1845]). By the time the Narrative was published in May 1839, Colburn had apparently decided that CD’s volume would sell well if published separately as well as in conjunction with the Narrative and brought it out with a new title in August 1839 (The Publishers’ Circular of 2 September 1839, p. 267 and Freeman 1977, p. 34).
CD travelled to Shrewsbury on Monday, 25 September (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II).


Thanks WS for a document [see 379]. Promises to send MS and woodcuts before night. Discusses details of printing and correction. Thanks WS and Henry Colburn for assistance.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Shoberl
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (8)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 380,” accessed on 24 August 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2