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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   1 December 1877

50A, Albemarle Street, London. W.

Decr. 1 1877

My dear Sir

The present edition of “Origin” which we are just exhausting makes in all 17500 Copies.

Therefore the reprint of 2000 more will be 19500 & we may safely say on the Title page Twentieth Thousand.1

Messrs. Clowes will be able to keep up Forms of Flowers for some months longer & when we have sold off all our present copies I will remind you.2

Yours faithfully | Robt. Cooke

Chas. Darwin Esq


The sixth edition of Origin was published in 1872. The final text with additions and corrections (eighteenth thousand) appeared in 1876; the printing Cooke refers to (twentieth thousand) was published in 1878 (Freeman 1977).
William Clowes & Sons were printers to John Murray. In his letter of 23 November 1877, Cooke had informed CD that the type for Forms of flowers was to be broken up; CD had replied that it was too early to stereotype the book (see letter to R. F. Cooke, 24 November 1877 and n. 3). In the event, when a second edition was produced in 1880, all new material was added to the preface (Forms of flowers 2d ed., pp. v–xii).


Forms of flowers 2d ed.: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. 2d edition. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.

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

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.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Reprint of Origin will bring number to 19500 – so title-page may safely read "Twentieth Thousand".

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 498
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11264,” accessed on 17 April 2024,