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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   7 December [1872]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent

Dec. 7th.

My dear Sir

I have no more errata, so print off what you think fit.2 If in a year’s time, or so, a new edit. is required, I would then thoroughly revise it.3 I was to have started for London to-day, but have been prevented by being too unwell: I hope, however, to see you next week.4 One of my sons saw a copy of “Expressions” the other day with very poor Heliotypes. Would it not be well to caution the Coy that they will lose credit if they distribute poor copies?5

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin.

P.S Would it be worth while as a puff to give on Title, the last Thousandth?? Do as you think fit.6


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from R. F. Cooke, 6 December 1872.
See letter from R. F. Cooke, 6 December 1872. Evidently CD had already sent Cooke the corrections to errors pointed out by Julius Victor Carus (see letters from J. V. Carus, 7 October 1872 and n. 6, 11 October 1872 and n. 1, and 24 October 1872, nn. 7 and 10); these corrections appear in the second printing of Expression, pp. 121, 184, 243, 245, and 285.
Expression 2d ed. was not published until 1890, after CD’s death. It included material collected by CD as well as information added by Francis Darwin, who edited the work (Expression 2d ed., p. iii).
In the event, CD’s visit took place between 17 and 22 or 23 December (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Just days before the publication of Expression the Heliotype Company had supplied only 3000 of the required 7000 sets of heliotypes (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 20 November 1872). The last 4000 sets presumably were of poorer quality as CD had feared (see letter to R. F. Cooke, 20 November [1872]).
The number of copies published was not added to the title page of the second issue of Expression. To puff: to promote or publicise in a laudatory or extravagant way (OED).


Expression 2d ed.: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. Edited by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1890.

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

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


Comments on additional printing of Expression. Complains about poor quality of plates.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 289
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8663,” accessed on 21 September 2023,

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