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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Smith, Elder & Co.   22 April 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Ap 22.76

Dear Sir

I am much obliged for your letter and for your kindness in searching for the two vols1   If you succeed, please to inform me, but do not send them off, as I am inquiring from some of my friends.2

If upon further reflection you are willing to take the risk under the terms proposed in your letter to bring out a new edit of the two volumes I shall be much pleased.3 But then please to observe that I cannot undertake to correct the press. On two occasions Mr Murray brought out new edits of my books without my looking at them,4 and assured me that under such circumstances the printers would guarantee a correct copy   I think it must somehow appear either by a short preface or on the title-page that the new edits are merely reprints. In case any woodblocks should be missing it is possible that I may have them & would then search for them.

In case there should ever be a new edit of the Coral Reefs wanted which I suppose is very improbable I should like to correct a few trifling errata5

I remain | dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

Footnotes

The letter has not been found, but in his letter to Smith, Elder & Co. of 20 April [1876], CD had requested copies of Volcanic islands and South America for Julius Victor Carus to translate into German. See also letter from J. V. Carus, 16 April 1876.
CD asked Joseph Dalton Hooker for copies; see letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 April [1876].
An annotation in an unknown hand appears on the wrapper put around the letter when it was filed: ‘Mr. Darwin called and we said we were quite willing to undertake to publish the Geological Observations of South America & Volcanic Islands in one Volume on the terms specified in our Letter’. Smith, Elder & Co. had offices at 15 Waterloo Place, London; CD was in London from 27 April to 3 May 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
CD’s publisher John Murray reprinted several of CD’s books without sending CD proof-sheets, but the only ones that were described as new editions were Journal of researches (1852) and (1870).
No further edition of Coral reefs was published in CD’s lifetime, but a third edition, edited by Thomas George Bonney, which appeared in 1889, contained the corrections CD referred to; see letter from J. V. Carus, 16 April 1876. Smith, Elder & Co. had published a second edition in 1874.

Bibliography

Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

Journal of researches (1852): Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. New edition [2d edition]. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1852.

South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.

Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1844.

Summary

Discussing a reprint of South America.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10466G
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Smith, Elder & Co
Sent from
Down
Postmark
AP 23 76
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 43127)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10466G,” accessed on 17 September 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10466G.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24

letter