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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   23 May [1875]1

May 23 Murray

I have o. an impt point— Some time ago Messrs. Appeton said (though I had told him I doubted whether the book wd be bought they wd bring out my I. Pl. if he cd get stereos from Mr Murray;2 but I do not choose that they shd. publish without knowing the cost of the plates & size of book.— Mr Murray generously allowed them to have plates of the Descent at cost price.3 but this is not fair & if Mr Murray will let Mrs A. have them, say 15 or 20 per cent extra, I wd write & tell them the size of book & the no of woodcuts & then they cd as they wd be able to estimate pretty closely cost of plates & decide. Supposing the Plates to cost 50£, you shd charge 60£ & there wd be 10£ in our favour. Does Mr Murray think this fair?— I shd be obliged for an immediate answer, as I I ought to have written sooner to Mess. Appleton.— Of course I am glad of an American Edition, to extend my 2d edn & for publicity for my work


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from R. F. Cooke, 24 May 1875.
D. Appleton & Co., CD’s US publisher, wanted to publish an edition of Insectivorous plants using stereotype plates provided by CD’s British publisher, John Murray (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter from D. Appleton & Co., [c. 19] November 1874]). The US edition of Insectivorous plants was published in 1875.
D. Appleton & Co. published a second US edition of Descent in 1875 using stereotypes provided by John Murray (Correspondence vol. 22, letter from D. Appleton & Co, [c. 19] November 1874).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.


Discusses the price to be charged to Appleton’s for the plates of Insectivorous plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 97: C27
Physical description
Adraft 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9989,” accessed on 21 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23