skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edwin Lankester, Ray Society   30 July [1851]

Down Farnborough Kent

July 30th

My dear Sir

The enclosed M.S. will occupy as nearly as I can calculate 330 pages of size of that used by Dr. Baird: there will be preface, index & description of Plates.—1

I have enclosed instructions which you can read to Mess. Adlard on all points, except size of type.— My M.S. looks atrociously bad, but the Printers make it out better than you could believe possible: I offered to the Pal. Soc. (& do to you) to pay for corrections, if heavier than the average high corrections; I had not, however, to pay anything.—

I most urgently desire, & trusting I may be permitted, have so instructed Mss. Adlard, to print 3 of the woodcuts, explanatory of the nomenclature used, on a separate folding Page, so as to be easily accessible to the Reader.—2

I think I told you that I have failed (after repeated attempts, in getting any of the Plates coloured, which required fresh specimens: but I have, (partly in consequence) had 10 instead of 8 Plates engraved: if this costs the Socy. more than the estimated colouring of the Plates, I am bound & will pay as much as the Council may direct; but I do not wish to pay more than such excess, if the Council are pleased to admit of this arrangement, as the preparatory drawings have cost me £10.— Will you be so kind as to lay this part of my letter before the Council.

I should be grateful if you would urge Mss. Adlard to print the M.S. as quickly as possible; as I shall do nothing till the volume is printed off.

I will send my servant in about 8 or 9 days to you, to take the M.S to Mss Adlard: but I will send a line to say on which day he will call.— My address in London till the 9th or 10th, is “7. Park St Grosvenor Sqr.”—3

Dear Sir | With thanks | Yours very faithfuly | C. Darwin Dr Lankester.

P.S. | I hope the Council will be enabled to arrange to print the second vol. of my Cirripedia at the end of the ensuing year, by which time the M.S. will be ready.—4 Probably they will be able to judge better, after the present vol. is published, how many Plates, they can afford me.

I do hope the present volume will be worthy of the Ray. Socy.

P.S. I presume you received my subscription5 by Post office order for current year, but forgot to acknowledge it, in your obliging note received yesterday.


Living Cirripedia (1851) includes a preface of 7 pages, 375 pages of text, and an explanation of the plates and index of 24 pages. It is set in the same fount and type size as William Baird’s The natural history of the British Entomostraca published the previous year by the Ray Society (Baird 1850).
This illustration is inset opposite page 3.
CD, Emma, and the children stayed in London at Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s house from 30 July to 10 August in order to visit the Great Exhibition (‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I) and Emma Darwin’s diary).
The manuscript of Living Cirripedia (1854) was not completed until the end of 1853. Publication did not take place until August 1854. There are thirty plates in the volume, three of which are coloured.
CD’s Account book (Down House MS) shows a payment to the Ray Society of £1 1s. on 24 July 1851.


Baird, William. 1850. The natural history of the British Entomostraca. London.

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

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.


Sends completed MS [vol. 1 of Living Cirripedia] with instructions for the printers; reviews number of plates and woodcuts, and offers to pay for extras and for excess corrections, if they occur. Hopes the Council [of the Ray Society] will print his second volume at the end of the ensuing year.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edwin Lankester; Ray Society
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1447,” accessed on 21 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5