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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   13 December 1877

50A, Albemarle Street, London. W.

Decr. 13 1877

My dear Sir

Messrs. Clowes have recd. your corrected copy of “Cross & Self Fertilization” & will at once proceed with the corrections & they undertake to adjust the Index also.1

Of this work only 1500 copies have been printed & our very last Trade Sale (Novr.) has quite exhausted them. Most likely yr supposing that 500 more had been taken off arises from the way in may have appeared in the advertisement as 2nd. Thousandth. As the edition is sold out, we have had the a/c made out & now enclose it.2

We printed 1500 No of Climbing Plants in 1875 & paid you £63 for that edition & in June 1876, we printed off 500 more copies & of these we had 450 remaining last June.!!!3

Yours faithfully | Robt. Cooke

Chas. Darwin Esq


Dr Cross & Self Fertilization &c Cr
1876 1876
Decr To Printing 216 13 6 Decr By 1500 Copies
1500 No
" 47 Rms Paper 79 18 5 States Hall4
" Making Index 6 6 18 Allowd Author
" Author for 140 63 40 Reviews
" Cooper 12 12 1437 Sold viz
" Binding 1500 40 12 6 1148 Trade 25 as 24 8/- 441 4
" Advertising 30 289 do do do 8/6 118 3
" Comn. Allowd 8 4 11 1437
" Balance Profit 67 1 Nov. By Appleton & Co 42
(Mr. M.) for a Set Stereotype
plates for America6
601 7 601 7

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Copy of Forms of Flowers’ blue pencil


A copy of a single sheet advertising CD’s works is in DAR 210.11: 8; the description of Cross and self fertilisation includes ‘Second thousandth’. See letter to R. F. Cooke, 11 December [1877] and n. 5. Cook’s statement that the edition was sold out is at odds with his later one that a few copies remained (see Correspondence vol. 26, letter from R. F. Cooke, 26 February 1878).
An entry in CD’s Account books–banking account (Down House MS) for 23 November 1875 records a payment of £63 for ‘Climbing plants’ (see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from R. F. Cooke, 22 October 1875 and n. 1).
Four copies of any new work published in the United Kingdom had to be delivered to the Stationers’ Company for distribution on demand to the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the University Library in Cambridge, the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh, and the library of Trinity College, Dublin. A copy was also to be delivered to the British Museum in London. See Seville 1999, pp. 233, 262.
Murray provided stereotype plates of Cross and self fertilisation to D. Appleton & Co. for publication in the US.


‘Climbing plants’: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. [Read 2 February 1865.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 9 (1867): 1–118.

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.

Seville, Catherine. 1999. Literary copyright reform in early Victorian England: the framing of the 1842 Copyright Act. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Messrs Clowes will make CD’s corrections and adjust index of Cross and self-fertilisation. Of this work only 1500 copies have been printed. Edition is sold out and account is enclosed.

Of 500 copies of Climbing plants [2d ed.] printed in June 1876, 450 were still unsold as of June 1877.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 499, DAR 210.11: 6
Physical description
ALS 2pp † encl 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11278,” accessed on 27 May 2024,