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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Smith, Elder & Co.   [9 October 1843]

Down Bromley Kent


Dear Sir

Thank you for informing me about the Box

I have forwarded your account1 to the Treasury & will inform you when I receive an answer.—

I was going to suggest advertisements to you in the leading Papers.— the extent I leave to your discretion— I shd think it wd not be worth while to specify the several Parts, but merely prominently put forward “the Completion of the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle under the superintendence of C. Darwin &c &c”2 But I leave this to your better judgment: Would it be worth while to add “with — quarto engravings”?

I presume you wd advertise at same time in single line “The Structure & distribution of Coral Reefs by Charles Darwin”—

My second little work on “Volcanic Islands” is almost ready for press; indeed I could send it in a fortnight’s time.—3 As half a dozen words wd announce it as in the Press—perhaps it wd. be worth doing.—“the Second Part by the same author on ‘Volcanic Islands’, is in the Press”—or some such form—but I leave this to you.— Almost immediately when I know the exact size of this little volume, I shall have to consult with you on its publication.—

Believe me | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

PS | The Gardeners Chronicle & Athenæum appear to me good Papers to advertise in. The former has but few advertisements & a large sale,—5000 weekly.—


In The Publishers’ Circular of 1 December 1843 the Zoology in 19 parts sewed, and in five separate parts bound in cloth, is listed among works published between 14 and 29 November.
CD did not send the manuscript of Volcanic islands to the press until January 1844 (‘Journal’; Appendix II). The reason for the delay is not known.


Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1844.

Zoology: The zoology of the voyage of HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. Edited and superintended by Charles Darwin. 5 pts. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1838–43.


Says he is forwarding the Smith, Elder & Co. account to the Treasury. Discusses advertisements of Zoology and Coral reefs. Volcanic islands "is almost ready for press".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Smith, Elder & Co
Sent from
Source of text
Sotheby’s (dealers) (23–4 July 1979)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 702,” accessed on 22 May 2022,

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