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Letter 8593

Darwin, C. R. to Candolle, Alphonse de

2 Nov [1872]


Thanks for AdeC’s Histoire des sciences [1873].

Sends a copy of Expression.

His health keeps him weak; he dreads grappling with the fearful subject of variation [in nature]

so he is working up some observations in botanical physiology to publish with his old papers on climbing plants.


Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Nov. 2d

My dear Sir

I am much obliged for your great kindness in having sent me your“Histoire des Sciences &c”.f2 From what I see of the contents I lookforward with real eagerness to read it; but I shall not be ableto begin for a week or two. I have just published a small book onExpression, which I did not suppose you would care to see; but from thenature of your recent studies, parts may possibly interest you, so I havetold my Publisher to send you a copy.f3

My health keeps very weak & I dread the exertion of grappling withthe fearful subject of variation; so I am now employed in working upsome observations in Botanical physiology made twelve years ago, which Iintend publishing with some other new matter & some of my old paperson Climbing Plants, Dimorphism &c in a volume.—f4

With cordial thanks & sincere respect, Pray | believe me | Yours veryfaithfully | Charles Darwin

Archives de la famille de Candolle



The year is established by the reference to Expression, which waspublished in November 1872 (Freeman 1977).
CD refers to A. de Candolle 1873; there is an annotated copy in theDarwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 153).
Candolle’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for Expression(see Appendix V). CD’s publisher was John Murray.
In the introduction to Variation, CD had written that he plannedfuture works on variation in nature and on the difficulties opposed tothe theory of natural selection. His next book, after Descent andExpression, was Insectivorous plants. CD had begun work on theinsectivorous genera Drosera and Dionaea in 1860 (seeCorrespondence vol. 8). CD’s papers ‘Dimorphic condition inPrimula’, ‘Two forms in species of Linum’, ‘Three forms ofLythrum salicaria’, ‘Illegitimate offspring of dimorphic andtrimorphic plants’, and ‘Specific difference in Primula’, were republished with corrections in Forms of flowers. Asecond edition of Climbing plants was published in 1875.
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