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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   20 November 1872

50A, Albemarle Street, London, W.

Nov 20 1872

My dear Sir

We are in a precious quondary with these Heliotype Plates for yr new work.

At present I dont know what we are to do. We have advertised the work for Tuesday next & we have 7000 Books & only 3000 sets of Plates.1

It is impossible to make even a partial delivery with so small a number, we shd. satisfy no one & dissatisfy hundreds.

Daily & hourly do we communicate with the Manager & I enclose his letter of yesterday afternoon.2 I need not say, that we did not & have not received the promised 500.!!!

I have just returned from the office & find out now the real truth, there has been & is a conspiracy or a strike at the Works & they have been obliged to dismiss & not able to replace competent men.

The Manager still tells me that he feels almost sure we shall get the 500 today & he hopes 1000 tomorrow & all the rest the day following, but as this is what has been told me for the last week I have no confidence in the result.

The nuisance is great & the fact of the book having been reviewed so long before publication is annoying to the public & may be prejudicial to the work.

We have supplied all the foreign markets & have not taken care of ourselves.3

Yours faithfully | Robt. Cooke

C. Darwin Esq


On the problems with supplying heliotype plates for Expression, see the letters from R. F. Cooke, 2 October 1872 and 4 October 1872. ‘Tuesday next’ was 26 November.
The manager was a Mr Wright (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 4 October 1872); the enclosed letter has not been found. Mr Wright has not been identified.
CD’s US publishers, Appleton, had been sent at least 3000 sets of heliotypes in October (see letters from R. F. Cooke, 9 October 1872, 11 October 1872, and 22 October 1872).


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


Quandary caused by Heliotype Company’s failure to deliver enough plates for Expression because of a strike. Murray’s now has 7000 books and only 3000 sets of plates.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 431
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8637,” accessed on 23 July 2024,

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