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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   30 October 1871

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Oct 30 1871

My dear Sir

The next day after receiving your former note I sent a bundle of sheets of the new ed. of Origin to Messrs Clowes; but I have received no proofs.1 Now I have completed the correction of the whole work. The delay in the publication is therefore not my fault. Will you be so kind as as to tell me what yr intentions are about publication.

I earnestly hope, for several reasons, that you do not intend any great delay. I shall now go on with my book on expression—2

My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. I have been reflecting on Mr Murray’s suggestion to stereotype the Origin, to which at the time I strenuously objected.3 I should like to hear how far this wd be commercially advantageous to yourselves & to me. I can see one great advantage, that it wd stop me ever trying again to improve the style & to make additions. On the other hand it would be a great evil if I found out some great error.

Pray tell me whether the whole sheet or each separate page is stereotyped, as the alteration of a single page would not be very serious. Have any copies at all of Chauncy Wright’s Darwinism been sold?—4

P.S. 2d.

I have just seen that you have advertised the New Edit. of Origin in the Spectator, & that pleases me, for it makes me think you do not want publication delayed.—5


See letter from R. F. Cooke, 9 October 1871. William Clowes & Sons were printing the sixth edition of Origin.
Expression was published in 1872.
No correspondence between CD and Murray concerning the stereotyping of Origin has been found. Stereotyping was a process in which movable type was set up and used to make a mould, which could then be used to cast a metal plate for printing. CD disliked having his text stereotyped because it made corrections and alterations more difficult (see Correspondence vol. 14, letter to Asa Gray, 16 April [1866] and n. 11).
CD refers to Wright 1871b; see letter from Chauncey Wright, 11 October 1871, n. 1.
Origin 6th ed. was listed in ‘Mr. Murray’s list of forthcoming works’ in the Spectator, 28 October 1871, p. 1318.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Has completed corrections for Origin [6th ed.], but has received no proofs. Hopes it will be published without delay.

Has been reflecting on Murray’s suggestion to stereotype the Origin. Sees advantage in that it will make him stop additions and changes in style. Inquires whether each separate sheet is stereotyped and can be altered.

Asks whether any copies of C. Wright’s pamphlet have been sold.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 232–3)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8034,” accessed on 20 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19