skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   29 August [1875]1

Bassett | Southampton

Aug 29th

My dear Sir

As the Chapters in my Var. under Domestication are consecutive there is no reason why the first or second or third chapter of Vol. 2. might not appear in Vol. I. Mssr Clowes will judge better on this head when he receives M.S of Vol. 2.2 I return home on Sat 11th. & by about 21st I shall be able to send the whole of Vol. 2.—3

I have had a letter from Mssr Clowes informing me that you complain of the extra expence of the proofs of the Climbing Plants being at my special request on wider paper.—4 I do not understand Mssr. Clowes explanation of the cost, as all that I wanted was proofs on better paper & with wider exterior margin, as this saved me much time & labour. Considering that my books sell fairly well, I must say that I have been somewhat mortified & annoyed to hear that you grudge this trifling expence, & complain of my conduct to Mssr Clowes.— I have directed Mssr Clowes to take charge of mere errors in letters in both the books now printing so as to allow me to attend solely to sense; & they must undertake the correction of Index.— I do not think that I am unreasonable in expecting this much aid.

Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from R. F. Cooke, 27 August 1875.
See letter from R. F. Cooke, 27 August 1875 and n. 1. William Clowes & Sons were printing Variation 2d ed.; chapter 12, ‘Inheritance’, which appeared in the second volume of the first edition, was moved to the first volume of the second edition.
CD started making corrections for the second edition of Variation on 6 July 1875; the Darwins stayed at the home of William Erasmus Darwin in Southampton from 28 August to 11 September 1875. In the event, CD finished work on the corrections on 3 October 1875. (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II).)


Variation 2d ed.: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1875.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


On publishing details of Variation [2d ed.].

CD mortified and annoyed to hear that RC has complained to Messrs Clowes of the extra expense because proofs for Climbing plants were put on wider paper at CD’s request.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 330–1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10138,” accessed on 20 June 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23