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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Mr Dorrell   9 August 1870

Down, Beckenham, Kent

Aug 9th./70/

To Mr Dorrell at Messrs Clowes.

Dear Sir

I send all the M.S for my next book, except the last chapter, which I retain for additions.—1 All the woodcuts are in your hand except for 2 of later chapters in Vol. 2; & I will hereafter send proofs of them with proper page & Chapt. for insertion.—

The book is to be printed of same type & size as my Origin of Species; & I shd like the foot-notes numbered as in my Dom. Animals.2

Please to send 2 Slips, printed on paper which is not bibulous.—3 The proofs of woodcuts in my M.S will serve, instead of fresh proofs of woodcuts.

I shd esteem it a favour if you would not send me any slips, till you can send me about 2 sheets,4 & till you feel sure that you can afterwards keep me at full work, but I work slowly; for I am incapable of changing the nature of my work.—

I shall return home & be ready to begin correcting on Aug. 22d.;5 or if I shd be delayed a few days I would inform you in good time.—

Will you oblige me by a single line telling me, as nearly as you can, when I may expect to receive slips in manner requested; so that I may arrange my occupations.

I hope I shall not cause you much trouble. Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin

P.S. I shd like the Chapters to run continuously from I to XXII in the two volumes.—

As far as subject is concerned Chapt XII wd be the best for beginning vol. 2. & I think will be nearly equal. The last Chapt XXII (not sent) will be short; but the Index will be rather long.—

I fear Chapt XII may perhaps have to go in Vol I.; but you will be able to decide better, when the first volume is all printed.6


CD refers to Descent.
Descent was printed with the same type and was the same size as Origin 5th ed. (see R. B. Freeman 1977). As in Variation, the footnotes were sequentially numbered in each chapter.
Slips: unpaged proofs. Bibulous: absorbent.
A sheet is equivalent to sixteen pages.
CD visited Southampton from 13 to 26 August 1870 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
The printed version of Descent had continuous numbering of chapters over the two volumes and the second volume began with chapter 12.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

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.

Origin 5th ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 5th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1869.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Sends instructions to Messrs Clowes concerning typesetting and printing of proof-sheets of Descent.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7298,” accessed on 4 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18