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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   16 November 1871

50a, Albemarle Street, London, W.

Nov. 16 1871

My dear Sir

We sold nearly 600 copies of the “Descent of Man” at our Trade Sale on Friday last & we have in stock about 120.

The type is standing & we propose to work off 750 or 1000, as you think best. Perhaps the latter No wd. be desirable, as it wd. give you more time to correct the work.

After this reprint I think we must allow Clowes to distribute the type & as we cannot expect the edition to go off rapidly Mr. Murray proposes to defer payment to you until the expenses of the work have been defrayed.1

I hope you are in good health now | Yours very faithfully | Robt. Cooke

We sold also

65 Animals & Plants


160 Voyage2

Chas. Darwin Esq


William Clowes & Sons were the printers of Descent. John Murray was CD’s publisher and Cooke’s senior partner in the business.
Cooke refers to Variation and Journal of researches 2d ed. The latter had been reprinted by Murray a number of times, most recently in 1870 (Freeman 1977).


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 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

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


Almost 600 copies of Descent sold at trade sale, with 120 left in stock. Suggests printing another 1000 to give more time for correcting the work for 2d edition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 405
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8071,” accessed on 25 February 2020,

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