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Darwin Correspondence Project

From D. Appleton & Co.   11 October 1875

549 & 551 Broadway, | New York.

Oct 11/75

Charles Darwin Esq

Dear Sir

We have at last succeeded in negociating with Judd & Co. for the plates of yr. work on “Animals & Plants under Domestication” paying them 350$. and allowing them 50% discount on 150 copies of the new Edn.1 This is a considerable sum as we can make no use of the plates yet we felt it was for yr. advantage, as well as our own to have all yr. works together. We hope the casts of the plates of the new edition to be furnished by Mr Murray will not exceed the cost of the taking the casts of plates & letter press.2

Messrs. Judd made a very small sale of the work & suffered very considerable loss by the undertaking.3 We shall be glad to know how soon the new edn. will appear | We remain | very faithfully | & truly | D. Appleton & Co

P.S. We will add that in our negociation with Messrs. Judd we stated you did not wish to interfere with their rights, but you wd. be glad for the change if they could see it was for their interest— All was amicable & kind. Yrs. DA & Co

CD annotations

1.1 Judd … new Edn. 1.3] double scored pencil
2.1 Messrs. … appear 2.2] ‘Must they have new stereos of Blocks’ added ink
Top of letter: ‘Write to Murray | about sale’ pencil


The first US edition of Variation had been published by Orange Judd & Co. in April 1868 (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from George Thurber, 18–20 April 1868).
Orange Judd & Co. reset Variation to conform to their usual format and then stereotyped the printing plates (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from George Thurber, 18–20 April 1868, and Correspondence vol. 17, letter from Orange Judd & Co., 21 April 1869). John Murray had provided stereotype plates of most of CD’s later books to D. Appleton & Co. at slightly above cost (see, for example, letter to R. F. Cooke, 29 June [1875] and n. 2).
When the edition by Orange Judd & Co. appeared, Asa Gray had written to CD, noting that it was ‘not very nicely printed’ (Correspondence vol. 16, letter from Asa Gray, 18 May 1868). The publisher had informed CD that sales were not as large as hoped (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter from Orange Judd & Co., 21 April 1869).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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


Has secured rights to Variation from Judd & Co.; had to pay $350 [dollars or pounds!?] for old plates and promise 50% discount on 150 copies of the new edition. Hopes Murray’s charge for plates of new edition will not exceed cost of doing the work in the U. S. Judd lost out considerably from small sale of his edition.

Letter details

Letter no.
D. Appleton & Co
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
New York
Source of text
DAR 159: 96
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10189,” accessed on 24 June 2021,

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