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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   8 August [1872]1

I have just received your note of the 7th & one from Mr Edwards, which has quite astonished me.—2 I clearly see that I ought to have had a written estimate; but they gave me the enclosed printed paper as an estimate, & I presume that this will not be denied; & Mr Edwards agreed that as my 3 larger plates do not exceed in depth, 7’, the charge for these ought to be somewhat less than in the printed paper.— You will see in the paper that the charge for 5000 copies of the smaller Plate is only 1d per copy!3 No doubt there ought to be some extra charge for making some new negatives & for cutting the negatives also I suppose; but this wd be very little when spread over so many copies.— I cannot conceive what they mean by the titling “requiring a great deal of extra trouble,” as the titling consists only solely of Pl. I, Pl. II, &c with simple figure 1, 2, & &c on each Plate.—4 One thing is clear that it will be extra charges on the foreign Edition, beyond what we pay & I cannot agree to this & for all you say in your note I am very far from supposing that you wd wish to do so.5

Pray take the printed paper to the Co & endeavour to come to some final understanding with them.— They are bound to calculate by the 1000 or ’5000 copies.— I enclose exact dimensions of my seven Plates, so that you may see what the charges ought to be by the estimate.—6

I am exceedingly sorry to cause you so much trouble, I think you might give a distinct [hint] to the Company that Probably will be unwilling to have any [Transaction with them without] they keep to the letter of the printed estimate

Aug 8th


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from R. F. Cooke, 6 August 1872.
The letter from Cooke and the note from Ernest Edwards have not been found. They evidently contained estimates of the printing costs for the photographic plates for Expression (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 6 August 1872).
The enclosure has not been found. Expression had seven photographic plates, three of which were foldouts.
The plates were numbered in the top right hand corner. The plates all carried multiple images, with some carrying as many as six; these images were also numbered.
The enclosure has not been found.


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


Cannot understand the estimate of the Heliotype Company [for plates for Expression]. Discusses the original agreement as he understood it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 96: 150–1
Physical description
Adraft 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8458,” accessed on 3 August 2020,

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