Charles Darwin

Autograph letter signed ("Ch. Darwin") to Charles Layton, Appleton's London agent, about a second American edition of On the Origin of Species


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An apparently unpublished letter by Darwin regarding a new American edition of Origin.

  • Charles Darwin (English).
  • Down, Beckenham, Kent: November 26, [1869].
  • 3 pages.
  • Octavo.
  • Bifolium of Down, Bromley, Kent, stationery, with "Bromley" crossed out and corrected to Beckenham.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) writes to Charles Layton, London agent for Appleton, about bringing out a revised and expanded second American edition of On the Origin of Species. The letter is a reply to Layton's of the day before, in which he'd inquired after stereotyped plates of the English edition. In part:

"The last or 5th Edit. of the Origin was printed off some months ago & it is impossible to supply stereotypes. I hope that you will inform Mr. Appleton of what I have said of the increased size of this last & 5th Edit. As 2000 copies of this Edit were printed, there will not be a new Edit. for a considerable time ... If Mr. Appleton will reprint this 5th Edition ... I will pledge myself to endevour to persuade Mr. Murray to supply stereotype plates of my new book on the Descent of Man; but as I never before heard of such such a scheme, I have no idea whether he will comply. At any rate I will please myself, on the above conditions & on the terms suggested in your letter, to send over the sheets as printed & stereotype casts of the woodcuts. But please remember my new book will not got to press for many months."

Appleton had published the first American edition of Origin in 1860, from Murray's second English edition. In keeping with the terms of the present letter, Appleton published the second American edition, based on the 5th English edition, in 1870, followed by the first American edition of The Descent of Man in 1871.


Darwin Correspondence Project DCP-LETT-7003 for Layton to Darwin, 22 November 1869.

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Ephemera, Letters, Science

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