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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Shoberl   [22 or 23 September 1837]

[36 Great Marlborough Street]

Dear Sir

I am obliged to you for sending the document.—1 Which I think I had full right to demand, although I do not at all suppose it would ever have been wanted. I am sorry I should have been the cause of so much trouble and I trust it will be the last time.—

Before night I will send you the whole of my M.S. with the woodcuts.—

The Chapters & everything are complete.—

I will write to the Printer myself, about where to send the slips. Mr Colburn had the kindness to say he would see the revise corrected I will write at the head of every page of slip, both date, ⁠⟨⁠    ⁠⟩⁠ double heading of ⁠⟨⁠    ⁠⟩⁠ & subject, when ⁠⟨⁠the⁠⟩⁠ latter is of sufficient importance.— So that, whoever looks over it, will only have to put the place on the left page & the subject on the right.— I have the pleasure of acknowledging the obliging manner, in which yourself & Mr Colburn, have assisted me in this my first publication.

Yrs. truly | Charles Darwin

I shall go down on Monday to “Shrewsbury”2


The document was an agreement Henry Colburn had made with Robert FitzRoy concerning the separate publication of CD’s Journal and remarks. A copy in CD’s hand, which he sent to John Murray in 1845 when arranging for publication of the second edition of Journal of researches, reads as follows: London Sept. 22d. 1837 This is to certify that after the completion of the sale of the first edition of the Voyages of Capts. King, & FitzRoy and Mr. Darwin, Mr Darwin is to be at liberty to publish his own Journal in any manner he pleases, separately from the general narrative, but this permission is not to prevent Capts. King & FitzRoy from continuing to unite it [interl] with their own Journals in subsequent editions of the general work Henry Colburn(John Murray Archive) In his letter to Murray, CD states that the agreement was made without consulting him (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to John Murray, [10 April 1845]). By the time the Narrative was published in May 1839, Colburn had apparently decided that CD’s volume would sell well if published separately as well as in conjunction with the Narrative and brought it out with a new title in August 1839 (The Publishers’ Circular of 2 September 1839, p. 267 and Freeman 1977, p. 34).
CD travelled to Shrewsbury on Monday, 25 September (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

Narrative: Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836. [Edited by Robert FitzRoy.] 3 vols. and appendix. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.


Thanks WS for a document [see 379]. Promises to send MS and woodcuts before night. Discusses details of printing and correction. Thanks WS and Henry Colburn for assistance.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Shoberl
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.8)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 380,” accessed on 4 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2