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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   2 October 1872

50A, Albemarle Street, London, W.

Octr. 2 1872

My dear Sir

This morning we receive a letter from Mr Koch of Stuttgart, about the Heliotypes & he encloses now for the first time the size of the page on which he is printing your new work & you will see that instead of small 8vo. like our edition, it is a regular demy 8vo. page, like yr work on “Variation of Animals & Plants”.1

I will of course go to the Hel: Compy. & see what can be done.2

I have been away a month & find no copies of the 7 Plates delivered here, according to promise. They were to send in, as fast as they finished them 1000 sets, at a time.3

I hope they are not going to throw us over & I think it might be as well if you wrote a rather strong letter on the point to them.

Your’s faithfully | Robt. Cooke

Chas. Darwin Esq


The paper size of the English edition of Expression was small or crown octavo (190mm x 126mm); that of Variation was demy octavo (221mm x 142mm). The heliotype plates of the photographs for Expression had been designed to fit the smaller size page. Eduard Koch was the head of E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, CD’s German publisher. The firm had ordered 2000 plates (see letter to J. V. Carus, 23 September 1872).
The Heliotype Company Limited had premises at 22 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London (Post Office London directory 1872).
John Murray had agreed to supply plates for all the foreign editions as well as the English edition of Expression. Cooke had ordered 8000 plates in total (see letter from John Murray, 3 September [1872]) For more on CD’s use of the heliotype process, see Prodger 2009, pp. 108–10.


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

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.

Prodger, Phillip. 2009. Darwin’s camera: art and photography in the theory of evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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


Has learned that German edition [of Expression] will be on larger pages than English one. No copies of heliotype plates [for Expression] have been delivered. Hopes Heliotype Company is not going to throw them over. Suggests CD write a strong letter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 421
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8539,” accessed on 20 July 2024,

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