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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. F. Cooke   26 May 1875

50a, Albemarle Street, London. W.

May 26 1875

My dear Sir

In January 1869 we had taken a set of Electros of the woodcuts to Variations &c by your desire for Professor Canestrini & they were sent to Messrs. Zanicketti & Co of Bologna & we were informed that Sigr. Vincenzi of Modena would pay for them.1

Up to this time however we have received nothing & it is not for want of reminding & I fancy you yourself have written once or twice.2

I have no doubt a set of Electros, could be taken for £5. Our charge to them was £103

Yours faithfully | Robt. Cooke

Chas. Darwin Esq


In 1870, CD heard that the publisher Nicola Zanichelli, who had intended to publish an Italian translation by Giovanni Canestrini of the first edition of Variation, had run into difficulties, and that the publication had been taken over by Carlo Vincenzi, who was to pay for the electrotypes of the woodcuts (see Correspondence vol. 18, letter from Giovanni Canestrini, 21 April 1870). The Italian translation of the first edition of Variation was never published.
See Correspondence vol. 19, letter from R. F. Cooke, 3 February 1871. No letters from CD to the Italian publishers have been found.
Cooke probably refers to the electrotypes of illustrations from the second edition of Variation (see letter from G. Chiantore to John Murray, 18 May 1875); this edition was translated into Italian by Canestrini and published in 1876 (Canestrini trans. 1876).


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

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


A set of electros of the woodcuts to Variation was sent to an Italian publisher in 1869, but no reply or payment has been made since then.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albemarle St, 50a
Source of text
DAR 171: 453
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9995,” accessed on 21 April 2021,

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