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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ebenezer Norman    17 [August 1856]1



Dear Sir,

The MS is all copied very well.2 I think considering that I wished the MS copied quickly that you have not charged enough so I have added 3d for 15000 words = 3s. 9d and I do not think you have charged enough for pamphlets, to which I have added 9d, so that I enclose 19s 6d + 4s 6d = £1 4.3 Are you sure you have remembered all that you have done for me? I do not think I shall have anything more just at present; but in some months time I shall have a great quantity, and if you think 1s per 1000 words repays you, I shall be very glad to have all copied.

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | (C. Darwin)


The date is established by an entry in CD’s Account book recording the payment referred to in the letter (see n. 3, below). The text is taken from a transcript provided by Frank Nicholas.
CD had engaged Norman, the master of the national school in Down, to copy his manuscript on the effect of the worldwide cold period on the geographical distribution of plants (see Natural selection, pp. 531, 534–66). In the autumn of 1856, Joseph Dalton Hooker read and commented on the fair copy of the manuscript (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 July [1856]). Norman continued to act as CD’s copyist for many years (LL 1: 153).
A payment of £1 4s. to Norman was recorded in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) on 17 August 1856.


Thanks EN for copying a MS [on "Geographical distribution" (Natural selection, pp. 534–66)]. Increases his payment and offers EN work in the future.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ebenezer Norman
Sent from
Source of text
Mrs K. M. B. Thompson (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1941A,” accessed on 18 February 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7 (Supplement)