Lettre autographe signée, Browley (Londres), 18 février 1904, à l’éditeur William-Morris Colles (1865-1926), 4 pages in-8.
Kropotkine répond à une lettre datant du 17 février 1904 de son éditeur, au sujet des clauses de l'édition de son livre.
« Viola. Drowley. Kent
February 18, 1904.
Dear Mr Colles
I have received your letter on Febr. 17 in which I read the following :
« There is now practically no print of difference, except that Mr. M. insists on the condition that if you take away the book, so as to issue a cheap edition at the end of 3 years, you or your assigned shall take over the copies remaining on hand at cost. »
Must I understand you find the addition to my proposed irrelevant ? I cannot think so, because it evidently defeats the very intuition of the cheap editions clauses.
Finding that, for those who read my books, the price of 10% net is prohibitive, I propose to put the price at 7/6 net.
If this is not accepted, I insist upon introducing the clause that at the end of 3 years (or 5 yrs.) MM. Chetneren are bound to make a cheap 6/- or less edition. And, if they do not care to make it, the book to me.
This is – the only guarantee for me that the publisher really means to sell the book and (x) not merely add a work by a more or less popular author to his catalogue. But M. M by his counter-proposal intends to annule this only guarantee.
I mind not say that neither Smith Elder or Heinemann or Lutz or any other publisher has ever had the idea of annuling such a counter-proposal. Nor shall I accept it from M. Chetneren.
I therefore can only repeat what I wrote to you last. I insist upon the 3 (or 5) years cheap edition clause, but I cannot bind myself to take the copies which if (?), Lavy put too high a price on the book, will not sell.
If (?) will not accept such a clause, we must take from there to MS. without delay.
Yours very truly,
P. Kropotkine. »
Il est fort probable que dans cette lettre, il soit question de l’ouvrage L’Entraide, un facteur de l’évolution de Kroptkine paru en 1902 à Londres et réédité en 1904 chez l’éditeur Heinemann.