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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke to G. H. Darwin   13 August 1872

50A, Albemarle Street, London, W.

Augt. 13 1872

My dear Sir

I have been to the “Heliotype Company” & the result of the whole business is, that each plate will cost 214d or a set 1s/4d in round numbers, including the Titling.1

The preliminary process amounts to the 14 Gs.

The explanation is, that they never bargained for so many subjects on a plate & that most of the plates are on a much larger paper than the page of the work.2

These prices now quoted are much lower (under these circumstances) than their scale & are almost cost price.

What I have seen of them, everything is very straightforward & above board & the result comes to this that the price of the volume must be such as to cover the 1/4 extra for these plates.

The titling is so much, because it is done by lithography & this is another printing & it costs them the 2/- p 100.

The numbers ought to have been given at first & cd. then have been heliotyped in— it wd. cost more than 2/- p 100 or quite as much if done by hand.

Your father must now make up his mind at once, as to the Nos being lithographed in so that we may get a head with the printing & begin with 5000.

Are we to charge the American & other editions 1/4 a set or 1/5 or 1/6.?3 As they shd. be informed at once.

Yours faithfully | Robt. Cooke

I trust to your kindly informing yr father of all this.

George Darwin Esq


Cooke had been trying to obtain the costs for printing the photographic plates for Expression (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 9 August 1872).
On the size of the plates and the number of images per plate, see the letter to R. F. Cooke, 8 August [1872] and nn. 3 and 4.
The American edition was published by D. Appleton & Co. On the translations of Expression, see the letter from R. F. Cooke, 1 August 1872, nn. 5 and 8.


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


Explains the cost of heliotype plates [for Expression] and the consequent need to raise the price of the book.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 414
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8467,” accessed on 3 August 2020,

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