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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Shoberl1   [21 March 1839]2

Dear Sir

Capt. FitzRoy has no kind of objection to my appending an advertisement of the works, connected with the Beagle’s Voyage, to my volume; on the contrary thinks it desirable.— Will you therefore ask Mr Colburn, (if you do not like to decide yourself) & my servant shall wait for an answer.

I am much obliged for your note, which I received yesterday: my intention, however, was to append a fly page with the notice of my works, to be bound up at end or beginning of the volume.— I believe there are sufficient now printed off for this purpose, at Mr Smith & Elder, but I should esteem it a great favour if you would inform me what is the last day, I can send them, so as not to delay the binding up my volume.—3

Yours truly | Chas. Darwin 12 Upper Gower St



Identification of the recipient is conjectural. The endorsement, ‘1839’, is in the distinctive hand attributed to Shoberl in other letters in the collection of the American Philosophical Society.
The letter is dated on the assumption that it was written soon after the letter from Robert FitzRoy, [20 March 1839]. However, the advertisement referred to in the letter may not have been inserted in CD’s volume of the Narrative, but only in the separately printed Journal of researches (see n. 3).
An announcement of the forthcoming publication, by Smith, Elder & Co. of a single-volume work on the geology of the Beagle voyage was inserted with sixteen pages of Colburn book advertisements dated August 1839 in at least some copies of the Journal of researches (see Freeman 1977, pp. 33–4, and letter from Robert FitzRoy, [20 March 1839], n. 1). This announcement had been printed off by Smith, Elder & Co. in 1838 and inserted by them in copies of Mammalia, Nos. 2 and 3 (see Freeman 1977, pp. 28–9).


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.

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

Mammalia: Pt 2 of The zoology of the voyage of HMS Beagle. By George Robert Waterhouse. Edited and superintended by Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder and Co. 1838–9.


Captain FitzRoy has no objection to appending advertisement of other works connected with Beagle voyage to CD’s volume [Journal of researches].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Shoberl; Henry Colburn
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.18)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 501,” accessed on 20 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2