skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   17 November 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Nov 17. 1875

My dear Sir

Many thanks about the stereotypes.1 Please to remember that I shall lose 200 dollars unless Var. under Dom. sells pretty well in the States, & this will largely depend on Messrs Appleton selling it at a low price.2

With respect to Insectivorous Plants, I am unwilling that it shd be stereotyped at once: I have never done that until my books have been published for some years, so that I have profitted by criticisms & new facts. I know that many men are working at the subject both in England & on the Continent & therefore I think it wd be better to wait for a few years, & then if there is a demand for it to correct the book thoroughly & finally & stereotype it.3

I suppose the 3000 copies cannot possibly have been sold, but if nearly so, & you think there will be any more sale, have 250 or 500 more printed off; & for this contingency I enclose 2 errata.4

I should like to hear what you decide on this head—

My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Stereotypes had been made of Climbing plants 2d ed., and were to be made for Variation 2d ed. (see letters from R. F. Cooke, 25 October 1875 and 16 November 1875).
Variation 2d ed. was to be published in the US by D. Appleton & Co. (see letter from D. Appleton & Co, 11 October 1875). Cooke had proposed a price of 18s. for the London edition (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 25 October 1875). The two hundred dollars might have been a portion of the costs for purchasing the printing plates from Orange Judd & Co, the publisher of the first US edition of Variation (see letter from D. Appleton & Co., 11 October 1875, and Correspondence vol. 24, letter from D. Appleton & Co., 18 February 1876).
See letter from R. F. Cooke, 16 November 1875 and n. 2. A second edition of Insectivorous plants was published in 1888, edited by Francis Darwin.
A fourth thousand of Insectivorous plants was printed in 1876 (see Freeman 1977, p 149). The enclosed errata slip has not been found. According to Freeman 1977, p. 149, the fourth printing carried the same errata slip as the third.


Climbing plants 2d ed.: The movements and habits of climbing plants. 2d edition. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

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

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.

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

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.


Reminds RC that he will lose £200 unless Variation [2d ed.] sells pretty well in the U. S. [and therefore Murray’s price for stereotypes should be kept low].

Is unwilling that Insectivorous plants be stereotyped until he has profited by criticisms and new facts. It would be better to wait a few years and correct the book thoroughly before stereotyping.

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. 320–1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10263,” accessed on 8 May 2021,

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