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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   4 August 1872

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Aug 4 1872

My dear Sir

I am particularly obliged for all your clear answers to my queries.1

Do you agree to my telling Messrs Appleton that you will supply Cliches of the woodcuts for £10, & stereotypes of the text for 5£ above prior cost or £45 (i.e. £55 for the text & cuts)?2 I am aware that this gives us conjointly very small profit; but from what you tell me of the cost of setting up the book in type, it wd be no advantage to Messrs A. to offer them the plates at a much higher cost, & as they paid me so liberally for the Descent I wish to act liberally towards them.3

I can see that it is hard upon you, but then there wd be no profit if the book were set up in type.4 Please to let me hear as soon as you can in answer, & about the cost per 1000 of copies of the heliotype plates. I will then at once write to Messrs A & make them the offer; & I will then write to all the foreign editors to know how many copies of the Heliotypes they will require, & that they must procure them by pre-payment to you. I have advised Kowalewsky not to print so large an ed. as 4000, but know not what he will determine. I have spoken to him about payment to myself.5

I think I shall make a present of the right of translation to Victor Carus, who is poor & whom I greatly respect.—6 Reinwald wished for a French translation some time ago, but I have not heard from him lately, & I am not much esteemed in France—7 I know nothing as yet about other translations. I do not suppose all the proofs will be finished before the end of the month, as I must soon have a week’s rest. As soon as I get clean sheets I will see about the index. I shd prefer Mr Dallas, & I shd think he wd esteem yr offer of £8 as very liberal.8

My dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


On CD’s profits for the US edition of Descent, see the letter to D. Appleton & Co., 16 March 1872.
D. Appleton & Co. had specified that they could only pay CD ten per cent of the gross profits if CD could secure the ‘casts’, or stereotypes, of future publications from his London publisher (see letter from D. Appleton & Co., 23 February 1872).
Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky was preparing the Russian translation of Expression (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 1 August 1872 and n. 5). He had visited CD sometime before mid-July (Davitashvili 1951, p. 157).
Julius Victor Carus was translating Expression into German.
No letter from the French publisher Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald about Expression has been found before that of 13 September 1872; CD’s last letter from him was that of 1 February 1871 (Correspondence vol. 19); it concerned the French translation of Descent.
CD refers to William Sweetland Dallas (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 1 August 1872 and n. 9).


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

Davitashvili, Leo Shiovich. 1951. V. O. Kovalevsky. 2d edition. Moscow: Academy of Science of the USSR.

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

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


Asks whether he can tell Appleton that Murray will supply clichés and stereotypes [for Expression] at only a small profit. Will make same offer to other foreign editors. Prefers that W. S. Dallas prepare the index.

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. 258–9)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8451,” accessed on 15 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20