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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   5 January 1877

50A, Albemarle Street, London. W.

Jany. 5 1877

My dear Sir

Having now given Messr. Appletons a certain start with the Stereotype plates of the Orchids, we are giving out copies to the binders preparatory to publication here & you will shortly receive yr own copies.1

After our Annual dinner we have only about 100 copies left of the “Descent” & so had better work off 1000 No more.2

If you want any alteration made in the plates will you let me have them.

Allow me to offer you the best wishes of the Season | Yours faithfully | Robt. Cooke

Chas. Darwin Esq

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Reviews | Date of Publication of Descent— | Price of Crossing book | About extra copies.’ pencil; ‘See about Descent.’3 pencil circled pencil
End of letter: ‘Supplement at very end or end of chapter [‘or Vol. I’ del]’4 pencil


Orchids 2d ed. was published in January 1877 (Publishers’ Circular, 1 February 1877, p. 93). Orchids 2d US ed. was published by D. Appleton & Co. on 3 March 1877 (Publishers’ Weekly, 3 March 1877, p. 288).
On John Murray’s annual November sale dinner, at which major booksellers bought stock at a discount, see J. Murray 1908–9, p. 540. The 1877 reprint of Descent 2d ed. had ‘Twelfth thousand, revised and augmented’ on the title page (Freeman 1977).
CD’s annotations were probably notes for his reply, but none has been found. CD may have discussed the points in person while he was in London from 6 to 15 January 1877 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). He evidently wanted to ask about the price of Cross and self fertilisation and about the reprint of Descent 2d ed.
The 1877 reprint of Descent 2d ed. contained a supplemental note reprinted from CD’s article in Nature, 2 November 1876, pp. 18–19, ‘Sexual selection in relation to monkeys’, in which CD described some observations he had received in letters from Johann von Fischer (see Correspondence vol. 24, letters from Johann von Fischer, [before 15 September 1876] and 15 September 1876).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Descent 2d ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: John Murray. 1874.

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.

Murray, John. 1908–9. Darwin and his publisher. Science Progress in the Twentieth Century 3: 537–42.

Orchids 2d ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. London: John Murray. 1877.

Orchids 2d US ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 1877.


Orchids [2d ed.] will soon be published.

1000 more copies of Descent [2d ed.] will soon have to be printed, so CD could send any alterations to be made in the plates.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 484
Physical description
ALS 2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10771,” accessed on 20 April 2024,