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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   29 July 1875

Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass.

July 29 1875

My Dear Darwin

I have been digging away, very hard, at Californian Botany, and shall have no respite all summer.—1 nor do I particularly feel the need of it yet.

I write to beg you will not set me down for an ungrateful fellow, because—thanks to your thoughtful kindness—I have had “Insectivorous Plants” for a fortnight, and have made no sign.2 I meant to have gone through it, and then have written, making some remarks—usually of admiration sometimes, perhaps a suggestion of criticism—which you at once turn the point of.

But the fact is, I have been, and am, so driven with work upon necessary, but far duller matters, that I have not yet read 30 pages!! Only to think of it.

But next Sunday I mean to go through it. I shall not only “be delighted when I have read it”, but shall have a treat in the reading.

You have a wonderful knack.

I hope you are very well, and we should be glad to know it.

Yours affectionately | A. Gray


Gray contributed to the classification and description of botanical specimens collected by the geological survey of California (Brewer et al. 1876–80, vol. 1).
Gray’s name is on CD’s presentation list for Insectivorous plants (Appendix IV).


Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.


Has received but not yet read Insectivorous plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass.
Source of text
DAR 165: 188
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10099,” accessed on 12 November 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23