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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   16 June 1874

50A, Albemarle Street, London W.

June 16 1874

My dear Sir

I hope the printer is going on to your satisfaction with the popular edition of the “Descent of Man”.1

This edition is to be stereotyped, & we must now think of printing off the copies.

We are in doubt as to the proper quantity. Do you think we can venture on more than 2000 No?2

We have made a rough calculation for 2000 & find if we fixed the retail price at 12/-, it would not give more than a profit altogether of £250.!!!

It is when we can venture on 5000 copies, that these cheap editions come out well.3

The next reprint will be much less expensive, as there will be a saving of nearly £200.

Yours faithfully | Robt. Cooke

Chas. Darwin Esq


The second edition of Descent was published by John Murray on 13 November 1874 and was printed by William Clowes & Sons.
No: abbreviation for numero, in number (Latin).
For CD’s concerns about the price and quality of the edition, see the letter to R. F. Cooke, 10 April [1874], and the letter to John Murray, 12 April 1874.


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


In doubt about size of printing of the 2d edition of Descent. Profit on 2000 at 12s would be only £250.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 439
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9493,” accessed on 8 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22