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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   12 November 1876

Herbarium of Harvard University, | Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass.

Nov. 12 1876

New Book, p. 4. foot-note.

The reference in last line to pp. 824 & 844— appear to be wrong—

For p. 824 read 828

" 844 " 845,

if that is the one meant. But that is not a communication from you!1

Dear Darwin

Many thanks for your prompt attention to my request. The sheets, to p. 192 came duly.2 I wanted a subject for my turn at our private scientific social club (established when I came to Cambridge 34 years ago—in which I have had many a bout with Agassiz.);3 but hearing you had not got on far in printing or that I should not get the sheets in time to study them, I effected an exchange—and so shall be ready to give my colleagues another dose of Darwinism about the middle of December—by which time I hope to have all the sheets.

Consequently, my hands being full, I have as yet read only the introduction. This is far from dull. The dullness you deprecate I may find in the details of experiments and statistical matter—never lively reading for one so poor at figures as I am. Of course I shall give my best attention to the discussion which is to follow.

It is most amusing to read what you write of “licking a horrid bad style into intelligible English”.4 Over here we are accustomed to hear your style spoken and written of, as being as faultless as your temper.

I am driving away at Synoptical Flora N. America and have just finished a monograph of our species of Asclepias5

Mrs. Gray6 and I are very well and send united kind remembrances to Mrs. Darwin and yourself.

Glad you are doing the Orchid-book over. You sent me the advanced sheets of the original edition. Better do the same with the new, and I can be early out with a book-notice of it.—7 That sort of thing I can now do only in snatches.

Sincerely Yours | Asa Gray


Thanks for sheets of new book. Intends to talk about it at a scientific social club meeting.

Is amused to read CD’s criticisms of his own style, as in the U. S. it is spoken of as being as faultless as his temper. Corrects a reference.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Herbarium of Harvard
Source of text
DAR 165: 191
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10668,” accessed on 14 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24