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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   28 November 1877

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station. | Orpington. S.E.R.

Nov. 28th/77

My dear Sir

I am much obliged for the cheque & enclose a receipt.

I have no corrections for the “Descent of Man”, so you can have 1000(?) printed off.—1

You will have understood that I am quite willing & glad that you shd. stereotype the Orchids.—2

The type must be broken up of the “Forms of Flowers”.3

With respect to “Cross-Fertilisation” as you are out of copies, a new Edit. must be prepared & the Edit may then be stereotyped. Please ask Mess. Clowes (as the type of two books will be freed) to keep up Cross-Fertilisation for about 2 or 3 weeks more, by which time I hope to be able to have all corrections ready.—4 They could be ready in a week or less, if I could give up all my time, but this is impossible.—5

Please inform me in answer to my query to Mr Cooke whether the Edit of 2000 of the Origin includes the 1000 of which I heard a month ago.—6 The number of Thousandth on the Title-page must be altered.

Lastly please send me a copy in sheets of the “Forms of Flowers”, that I may keep it in case a new Edit. is ever wanted.—

Thanks for your kind congratulations about the L.L.D.7

I am sorry to trouble you about so many points, but when you answer this note be so good as to glance through this note.

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. | On reflexion I do not understand how it is that the profits of the two books amounts exactly to 200 guineas. Our agreement has always been that I have 23 profits, though in the case of the book on Orchids I remember I agreed to receive only half-profits.—8 I shd. like to hear about this point.—

C. D.—


Orchids 2d ed. was published in January 1877 (Publishers’ Circular, 1 February 1877, p. 93). See letter to R. F. Cooke, 24 November 1877.
Forms of flowers was published in July 1877 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). See letter from R. F. Cooke, 23 November 1877, and letter to R. F. Cooke, 24 November 1877.
CD submitted corrected proof-sheets of Cross and self fertilisation to William Clowes & Sons, Murray’s printers, on 11 December 1877 (letter to R. F. Cooke, 11 December [1877]). The second edition of Cross and self fertilisation was published in 1878.
According to his ‘Journal’ (Appendix II), CD spent the second half of 1877 working on ‘Bloom — Spontaneous Movement of Plants & Heliotropism & a little on Worms’; his work on movement in plants was published in Movement in plants (1880) and his work on worms in Earthworms (1881).
CD was awarded an honorary LLD at Cambridge on 17 November 1877 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


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.

Earthworms: The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms: with observations on their habits. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1881.

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.

Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.

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


On publishing details for various CD books.

Has no corrections for new issue of Descent [2d ed.].

Questions amount of cheque for profits.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 293–6)
Physical description
ALS 5pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11258,” accessed on 7 June 2023,