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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Clowes & Sons   7 October [1876]1

Bassett | Southampton

Oct 7th

Dear Sir

The type &c. will do very well for my book on Orchids.2 I cannot remember at all how many pages the first Edit. contained & I have no copy here.—3 Therefore before you actually begin to set up, it would be adviseable to inform Mr. Murray that the new Edit will be about 300 pages, & whether he approves of this.4 I shall not be up for correcting until my present book is finished & I have had 3 or 4 days rest.5

The proofs in hand shall be proceeded with tomorrow

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Orchids 2d ed. (see n. 2, below).
CD had begun work on Orchids 2d ed. on 5 May 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). The book was set in smaller type than that of the first edition; it was published in January 1877 (Publishers’ circular, 1 February 1877, p. 93).
Orchids was 365 pages long.
As published by John Murray, Orchids 2d ed. was 300 pages long.
CD was correcting proof-sheets of Cross and self fertilisation (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Orchids 2d ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. London: John Murray. 1877.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.


Approves the type for Orchids [2d ed.]. The printer should advise Murray that it will be 300 pages.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10634,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

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