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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Smith, Elder & Company1   [16 February 1849]2

Down Farnborough | Kent


Dear Sir

With my private account you have hitherto generally let me have the account of the Geology of S. America, the sales of which (minus your commission) go to my favour.— If not inconvenient I shd be glad to have this & I cd deduct any thing in my favour (if there have been any sales at all) from your account & so save yourself & myself trouble.—3

I shd like to know what number (if any) of copies of the Coral & the Volcanic volume have been sold—though I have nothing to do with the accounts on those two volumes: I ask this out of mere curiosity—

Hoping that you will excuse this trouble | Believe me | dear Sir | Yours faithfully | C. Darwin


Publishers of CD’s volumes on the zoology and geology of the Beagle voyage (Zoology, Coral reefs, Volcanic islands, and South America ).
Dated from the endorsement and the broad mourning border of the stationery used by CD in 1849.
CD had received a government grant to cover the costs of publishing his Beagle results, which was expended before the completion of South America (1846). He therefore contributed towards the cost of publication. CD purchased stationery from Smith, Elder & Company and presumably offset any royalties due to him from South America against their account. On 25 February 1849 he paid them £6 13s. 3d. (CD’s Account Book, Down House MS).


Asks for account on South America and sales of Coral reefs and Volcanic islands.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Smith, Elder & Co
Sent from
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1217,” accessed on 25 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4