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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hermann Müller   26 October 1875

Down, Beckenham, Kent

Oct: 26. 1875

My dear Sir

… There will always be men who dispute and differ about everything that is discovered; and we may take comfort by remembering that even the sexuality of plants was disputed for half a century after Kölreuter’s papers.1 I have had occasion lately often to refer to your “Befruchtung &c” and I have done so even with greater admiration than at first.2 It is an excellent and most useful work.

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Footnotes

See letter from Hermann Müller, 23 October 1875. CD alludes to Thomas Meehan’s recent work, in which he argued that the role of insects in aiding plant fertilisation was limited (Meehan 1875, p. 251). CD’s heavily annotated copy of Johann Gottlieb Kölreuter’s Vorläufige Nachricht von einigen das Geschlecht der Pflanzen betreffenden Versuchen und Beobachtungen (Preliminary notes on some experiments and observations regarding the sex of plants; Kölreuter 1761–6) is in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 458–71).
CD was probably using Müller’s Die Befruchtung der Blumen durch Insekten und die gegenseitigen Anpassungen beider (The fertilisation of flowers by means of insects and the reciprocal adaptations of both; H. Müller 1873) in his research for Cross and self fertilisation.

Bibliography

Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Kölreuter, Joseph Gottlieb. 1761–6. Vorläufige Nachricht von einigen das Geschlecht der Pflanzen betreffenden Versuchen und Beobachtungen. Leipzig: Gleditschischen Handlung.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Meehan, Thomas. 1875. Are insects any material aid to plants in fertilization? Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 24: 243–51.

Müller, Hermann. 1873. Die Befruchtung der Blumen durch Insekten und die gegenseitigen Anpassungen beider. Ein Beitrag zur Erkenntniss des ursächlichen Zusammenhanges in der organischen Natur. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.

Summary

On HM’s Befruchtung der Blumen [1873].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10228
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Heinrich Ludwig Hermann (Hermann) Müller
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 146: 436
Physical description
1p inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10228,” accessed on 16 May 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10228.xml

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

letter