skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Smith, Elder & Company   14 January [1863]

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Jan. 14th

Dear Sir

I have had on my file a little unpaid account ever since 1858.1 When I received it I asked you to be so good as to let me have account of any sales of my three Geological Books.—2 Will you be so kind as to let me now hear on this subject.—3 I presume a few copies will have been sold during the several years since I had an account.— When you see what sale there has been, you can, if you please, make me any offer for the stock in hand, & so finally settle accounts, as we did many years ago for the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle.—4

Pray believe me | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


The statement of account has not been found; however, see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to Smith, Elder & Company, [16 February 1849] and n. 3. Smith, Elder & Company published CD’s geology and zoology of the Beagle voyage (see nn. 2 and 4, below).
CD’s letter has not been found. Smith, Elder & Company published the three parts of CD’s account of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle: Coral reefs in 1842, Volcanic islands in 1844, and South America in 1846. In 1851, the three parts were combined and reissued, retaining the old pagination, although the title and half-title leaves of the parts were discarded and replaced by a new general title leaf, as Geological observations on coral reefs, volcanic islands, and on South America (Freeman 1977). See Correspondence vols. 2–4 for some of the transactions between CD and Smith, Elder & Company.
See letter from Smith, Elder & Company, 3 March 1863.
Smith, Elder & Company also published the five parts of Zoology (Freeman 1977; see Correspondence vols. 2 and 3). However, the correspondence referred to has not been found, and, in CD’s account books, there is no explicit reference to a final settlement or sale of the stock of Zoology.


Asks for account of sales of Geology of "Beagle". Willing to consider offer for remaining stock in order to close account.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3914,” accessed on 19 September 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11