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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   27 September 1876

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

Sept. 27. 76

My dear Sir

I sent by this morning’s Post the 4 first perfect sheets of my new book, the title of which you will see on first page, & which will be published early in November.1

I am sorry to say that it is only shorter by a few pages than my “Insectivorous Plants”.2 The whole is now in type, though I have corrected finally only half the volume.— You will therefore rapidly receive the remainder.— The book is very dull.— Chapters II to VI inclusive are simply a record of experiments.

Nevertheless I believe (though a man can never judge his own books) that this book is valuable. You will have to decide whether it is worth translating— I hope so— It has cost me very great labour, & the results seem to me remarkable & well established.

If you translate it, you could easily get aid for Chap. II to VI, as there is here endless, but I have thought necessary repetition.3 I shall be anxious to hear what you decide. My Orchid book has been almost remodelled & the corrected sheets & M.S have been long ready & will soon be sent to the Printers.4

I most sincerely hope that your health has been fairly good this summer.—

My dear Sir | Yours very truly | Ch. Darwin


CD sent proof-sheets of Cross and self fertilisation, which was published in December 1876 (DAR 210.11: 6).
Insectivorous plants was 453 pages long, excluding the preliminaries and index, while Cross and self fertilisation was 469 pages long; both volumes were octavo (Freeman 1977). The German editions were 406 and 463 pages long respectively (Carus trans. 1876b and 1877d).
CD had suggested that Carus might employ someone to translate Climbing plants under his superintendence in his letter of 14 October [1875] (Correspondence vol. 23), but Carus was reluctant to delegate some of his translation work, since the time spent on it was the happiest part of his day (letter from J. V. Carus, 19 March 1876).
Orchids 2d ed. was published in January 1877 (Publishers’ Circular, 1 February 1877, p. 93).


Climbing plants: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green; Williams & Norgate. 1865.

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.

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.


Sends first sheets of Cross and self fertilisation. The book is a very dull record of experiments, but nevertheless CD believes it is valuable for its remarkable and well-established results.

Orchids [2d ed.] will soon go to the printer.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10619,” accessed on 2 October 2023,

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