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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Cassell, Petter & Galpin   [August–December 1868]1


In your letter of ..... you were so kind as to say that you wd supply me, as by enclosed list, with 15 stereotype blocks from Brehms work, at 9d per square inch(?) but that you had not as yet received the originals.2 If they are now in your possession I shd be much obliged if you wd have them made for me, & I trust that you will see that they are good copies & let me have a proof of each.— Immediately that they are finished, I will myself pay for them, but they shd be sent to the care of Mr Murray 50 Albemarle St. marking outside that they are blocks from me.—3

In your former letter you enquired about Mr Kovalevsky & in answer I informed you that he had written he shd be in England in July & wd communicate with me, but I have not heard anything of him, not even whether he has published the translation of my last work.—4

With many thanks, I remain | Gentlemen | very faithfully | C. Darwin

P.S. As my next work, (which however will not be published I regretQQQQ for a year)5 will almost certainly appear in several translations, & as I have always hitherto supplied stereotypes of all the woodcuts6 I presumeQQQQ QQQQ could not object to you doing for same costs the aboveQQQQ 15QQQQ, which fees only to permit of their use by whoever translated


The date range is established by the mention of July in the letter and by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Cassell, Petter & Galpin, 31 December 1868.
The letter from Cassell, Petter & Galpin has not been found, but see the letter to Bibliographisches Institut Hildburghausen, 8 June 1868 and n. 1. CD had been trying to acquire stereotypes of some of the illustrations in Alfred Edmund Brehm’s Illustrirtes Thierleben (Illustrated animal life: Brehm et al. 1864–9) for publication in Descent. Cassell, Petter & Galpin held the English translation rights to the Illustrirtes Thierleben; they published the part on birds as Cassell’s book of birds (Brehm [1870–73]).
John Murray was CD’s publisher.
See letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 26 February 1868. Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky’s translation of Variation was not finished until 1869 (Kovalevsky trans. 1868–9; see letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 22 December 1868.
Descent was published in 1871.
Murray supplied stereotypes of the illustrations in Orchids and Variation to the publishers of translations for a fee; see Correspondence vol. 10, letter to H. G. Bronn, 25 April [1862], and Correspondence vol. 15, letter to V. O. Kovalevsky, 26 March [1867] and n. 3, and letter to John Murray, 10 April [1867].


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

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

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.

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


CD arranges for copies of some blocks [for use in Descent] from Brehm’s [Illustrirtes Thierleben (1864–7)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Cassell Petter & Galpin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 96: 52
Physical description
Adraft 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6300,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16