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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. F. Cooke   27 October [1872]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent

Oct. 27th.

My dear Sir

Many thanks for the copy of my book, of which the appearance pleases me much.

I wrote about M. Reinwald, when away from home and quite forgot how few copies he was going to print and that a clean copy had been sent him.2 I have now written to him again and told him that I would give him the right of Translation for nothing.3 I am sorry to have troubled you by my blunder. In fact I was quite confused about the foreign editions, not having any memoranda with me.

I enclose list of 55 copies for London and England, and should be greatly obliged if you would distribute them, by Porter and Post, marking each “from Author.”4

Also please send me 30 copies (not marked for author) addressed to

“C. Darwin, Esq.” “Orpington Station Kent” “S. E. Railway

I will assume that you will be able to send these 30 copies off on Tuesday.

Altogether I take 85 copies, (paying for 67 copies) and am very much obliged for the 18 copies.5

I thank you sincerely for all the great trouble you have taken for me, and I hope to Heaven I shall cause no more.

Soon after your sale, I should much like to know what the sale is of all my books at this sale.6

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P. S. If you have to print more than the 2000, please let me hear at once, as a few trifling errata, such as dropped letters, have been detected, and I will then write to Messrs Clowes.7

I would recommend copies to be sent to “Nature” “Pop. Science Review”, the “Academy”, “Spectator”. But you know all this far better than I do.

Would it be worth sending a copy to any Art Journals, as artists have to consider expression.8


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from R. F. Cooke, 26 October 1872.
See letter from R. F. Cooke, 26 October 1872 and n. 1. Cooke had sent CD one copy of Expression. Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald published the French edition of Expression (Pozzi and Benoît trans. 1874).
CD’s letter to Reinwald has not been found.
For CD’s presentation list for Expression, see Correspondence vol. 20, Appendix V.
Of 7000 copies printed of the first edition of Expression, 6200 were sold in John Murray’s autumn sale, along with 1100 copies of Origin 6th ed. (Nature, 14 November 1872, p. 35). On Murray’s customary November ‘sale dinners’, see Murray 1908–9, p. 540.
For some of the corrections made to the first printing of Expression, see letters from J. V. Carus, 7 October 1872, 11 October 1872, and 24 October 1872. William Clowes & Sons were printers to John Murray.
Although Murray evidently sent a copy to Nature (Nature, 7 November 1872, p. 20), no review of Expression was published. Expression was reviewed in Popular Science Review, January 1873, pp. 71–3, and in the Academy, 2 June 1873, pp. 209–12. A review published in the Graphic, 16 November 1872, pp. 462–3, commented favourably on the illustrations, mentioning the use of the heliotype process. A short but positive review appeared in the Art-Journal, January 1873, p. 31.


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

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Murray, John. 1908–9. Darwin and his publisher. Science Progress in the Twentieth Century 3: 537–42.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Discusses distribution of presentation copies of Expression. Sends instructions for mailing his copies. Discusses negotiations with C. Reinwald concerning French edition. Suggests journals to receive review copies.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 287
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8581,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20