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Letter 581

Darwin, C. R. to Gray, G. R.

[20 Nov – 11 Dec 1840]

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    Thanks GRG for his gift [A list of the genera of birds (1840)] and trusts that now GRG will be able to finish John Gould's MS for Zoology.

Transcription

12 Upper Gower St

Friday

My dear Sir

I have been obliged to defer from the state of my health, until to day, the pleasure of thanking you for your very obliging present of your volume of the Genera of Birds. It is a work, which cannot fail, I should think, of being very useful to ornithologists & indeed to describers in other branches of Natural History.

I trust now you have completed this work, you will oblige me by kindly finishing the remaining M.S. for the Birds of Beagles Voyage.— I had hoped before this to have finished that part, but I have of late been so frequently unwell that all my plans have disarranged.

I shall esteem it a great favour should you be able to finish at once Gould's M.S. & Believe me, | My dear Sir | with many thanks | Yours very truly | Chas. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 581.f1
    Probably the first edition of Gray 1840. A second, corrected edition was published in 1841. The illustrated edition began to come out in 1844.
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    f2 581.f2
    CD's ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II) records that he returned to London on 14 November 1840; on 15 December he ‘Commenced last number of Birds for Zoology of Beagle's Voyage.’ The final part of Birds was published in March 1841.
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    f3 581.f3
    John Gould had left for Australia in 1838, leaving a part of Birds unfinished.
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