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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Smith, Elder & Co.   13 November [1845]

Down near Bromley. | Kent

Nov 13

Dear Sir.

I leave entirely to your better judgment the size of the advertisement, & the extent which you may think it worth while to advertise; I am doubtful of its doing much more good than making early subscribers complete their copies.—1 I have made & suggested a few alterations in the advertisement The line about “a general sketch of the Zoology &c &c” must be omitted.2

Would it not be worth while to introduce the names Owen, Waterhouse Gould Jenyns & Bell of the contributors after each part, they are good & known names,?

If you require space to do this, you might omit the sentence in italics, about the Lord Commissioner & the following sentence, & make a general Heading to the whole advertisement in large type, of “With the Approval &c &c &c.”

As the advertisement now stands, it is not evident, that the Geological Observations were written by me; my name had better be introduced, where I have marked it.

The title of the Coral-Volume had better, I think, be a little fuller, as I have introduced it.3

I am very much obliged to you for having sent me the advertisement to look at & | Believe me | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin


The letter refers to an advertisement by the publishers of the Zoology and the geology of the voyage of the Beagle that was printed on p. 520 of the second issue of Journal of researches 2d ed., which appeared in December 1845, see Freeman 1977, pp. 35–6.
An 1844 advertisement, which appeared in Volcanic islands, described the Zoology as including ‘a general Sketch of the Zoology of the Southern Part of South America’. This part of the original plan was abandoned because the Treasury grant expired.
All CD’s suggested revisions were carried out: the contributors’ names were added to each part of Zoology, CD’s name was added after ‘GEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS’, and the title of Coral reefs was filled out.


Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1844.

Zoology: The zoology of the voyage of HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. Edited and superintended by Charles Darwin. 5 pts. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1838–43.


Sends corrections and suggestions for an advertisement for Zoology and Geology of "Beagle".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Smith, Elder & Co
Sent from
Source of text
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1023,” accessed on 29 May 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3