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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   24 November 1877

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

Nov 24. 1877

My dear Sir,

You wrote to me two or three weeks ago saying that you intended to print off 1,000 copies of the Origin; & I answered you that I had no corrections. I suppose the 2000 copies now spoken of includes the previous 1,000; but I should like to hear how this is.1

With respect to the Fertilisation of Orchids, if Mr Murray thinks fit I shall be glad to have it stereotyped: I enclose one trifling erratum.2

I fear that I cannot agree to Cross-Fertilisation & Forms of Flowers being stereotyped: but before I finally decide I should like to hear how many copies you have of each.3 It is too soon to stereotype Forms of Flowers & I am working so hard that I cannot bear to give up two or three weeks to correct Cross-Fertilisation

It is extremely kind of Messrs Clowes to have kept up the type so long, & I can see that it is a great pity not to take advantage of it for stereotyping

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


See letters from R. F. Cooke, 12 October 1877 and 23 November 1877; Cooke’s letter of two or three weeks ago saying that he intended to print 1000 copies of Origin has not been found, nor has CD’s letter to Cooke saying he had no corrections.
See letter from R. F. Cooke, 23 November 1877. For the correction, see the letter from J. V. Carus, 13 June 1877; the correction was made to the revised second edition of Orchids in 1882.
Cross and self fertilisation and Forms of flowers. Stereotyping involved preparing preparing a mould of papier-mâché or plaster that could be used to produce a solid plate of type metal, which made the text harder to alter.


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

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. 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.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Asks exact number of copies of recent printing of Origin.

Approves stereotyping Orchids,

but fears he cannot approve of stereotyping Cross and self-fertilisation and Forms of flowers. It is too soon for the latter, and he is too busy to correct the former.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 300–1)
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11252,” accessed on 16 September 2021,