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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Smith, Elder & Co.   27 March [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

March 27th

Dear Sir

I thought that I had corrected the sheets of the Coral Reefs enough, but I find so many bad sentences that I am recorrecting rather heavily.2 This is unfair towards you, & it would be a great satisfaction to me (as I shd. then feel no scruples) if when you get the Printer’s account you will charge me all the cost above what you think an author commonly & fairly requires. This is the practice of the Geological Soc.3 & seems to me just.

Pray oblige me in this & believe me Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established from the reference to the proofs of the second edition of Coral reefs; copies of Coral reefs 2d ed. were available from late May (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 30 May 1874), and its publication was announced in Publishers’ circular, 1 July 1874, p. 420.
CD’s daughter, Henrietta Emma Litchfield, was helping to correct the proofs of Coral reefs 2d ed. (see letters to H. E. Litchfield, 21 [March 1874] and 27 [March 1874]).
The Geological Society of London.


Coral reefs 2d ed.: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. By Charles Darwin. Revised edition. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1874.

Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.


Heavily correcting sheets for Coral reefs, 2d ed. [1874]. Offers to pay extra printer’s charges.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9374,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22