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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   21 March 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

March 21/76

My dear Sir

The very kind expressions in your letter have gratified me deeply. I am glad to hear that “Insectivorous Plants” is published, but I have not yet received a copy.1 Many thanks for the errata in Climbing Plants2   I will order a copy to be sent to you; there may possibly be some little delay as additional copies are now printing off.

I quite forget what I said about my Geological works, but the papers referred to in your letter are the right ones. I enclose a list, with those which are certainly not worth translating marked with a red line; but whether those which are not thus marked with red line are worth translation you will have to decide.3 I think much more highly of my book on “Volcanic Islands” since Mr Judd, by far the best judge on the subject in England, has as I hear learn’t much from it.4

I think the short paper on the “formation of mould” is worth translating; though if I have time & strength I hope to write another & longer paper on the subject.5

I have finished the first rough copy, (all but one chapter,) of my book on crossing plants; but much time will yet be consumed in correcting it for press. I find that it will be so long a book that I have almost made up my mind to publish all my papers on dimorphic & trimorphic plants &c separately. And in this case I will bring out a new edition of my Orchid book before I bring out the volume on dimorphic plants. I hope that the book on crossing plants & the orchid book may be out in the autumn or before next year.6

I can assure you that the idea of any one translating my books better than you never even momentarily crossed my mind. I am glad that you can give a fairly good account of your health, or at least that it is not worse7

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I must again thank you for your very kind letter.


See letter from J. V. Carus, 19 March 1876; Carus had translated Insectivorous plants into German (Carus trans. 1876b). No copy of the translation has been found in CD’s libraries at CUL or Down.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 19 March 1876 and n. 2. The list has not been found.
Carus translated Volcanic islands into German in 1877 (Carus trans. 1877a). For John Wesley Judd’s admiration of the work, see Correspondence vol. 22, letter from Charles Lyell, 25 September 1874, and this volume, letter from J. W. Judd, 15 November 1876.
The paper ‘Formation of mould’ was published in 1840; CD published the book Earthworms in 1881. Carus published the paper as part of the German translation of several shorter geological papers (Carus trans. 1878c); he translated Earthworms in 1882 (Carus trans. 1882).
Cross and self fertilisation was published in November 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). Revised versions of CD’s papers on dimorphic and trimorphic plants, most of which were originally published in the Journal of the Linnean Society of London, were published in Forms of flowers in July 1877 (Freeman 1977). Orchids 2d ed. was published in January 1877 (Publishers’ Circular, 1 February 1877, p. 93).
In his letter of 19 March 1876, Carus had responded to CD’s suggestion that he get help with the German translations of CD’s works. Carus suffered from frequent bronchial complaints.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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

Earthworms: The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms: with observations on their habits. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1881.

‘Formation of mould’: On the formation of mould. [Read 1 November 1837.] Transactions of the Geological Society of London 2d ser. 5 (1840): 505–9. [Shorter publications, pp. 124–7.]

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

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

Orchids 2d ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. London: John Murray. 1877.

Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1844.


Glad to hear that [German edition of] Insectivorous plants is published.

Thanks for errata in Climbing plants [2d ed.].

Sends list [missing] of his papers, with those certainly not worth translating marked with a red line.

Reports on work in progress.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10422,” accessed on 15 July 2024,

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