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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   23 November 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Nov 23. 1876

My dear Sir,

You need not trouble yourself to look through the new edit of my Geological Book. At p 161 of old edit of Volcanic Islands the name of a genus of Corals has been altered. At end Ch IV of South America, a small appendix has been added in new Edit.1 I do not know why I doubted about the Atlantic dust paper; I think it would be worth translating.2

Your plan of a short hand writer seems excellent; and I am extremely pleased that you have not found the book so intolerably dull as I feared you would. Barnes3 is the name of a gardener, & you had better copy the name I used. I have no idea what Cos means but it is the proper name of the Var:.4

Many thanks about the errata; I have looked to the original notes. and the error has been made in the conversion into decimals   I will send you a perfect copy when published, & why it does not appear I do not know.5

my dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


See letter from J. V. Carus, 20 November 1876. In Geological observations 2d ed., p. 178, CD added a note suggesting that the coral discussed under the name Stenopora tasmaniensis should have been called Thamnopora tasmaniensis (this name was never published) Thamnopora is a genus of extinct tabulate corals, while Stenopora is a genus of extinct bryozoans. A supplement on the thickness of the Pampean formation near Buenos Ayres, first published in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London (‘Pampean formation’), was added near the end of chapter 4 of South America (Geological observations 2d ed., pp. 363–7). Carus’s translation of it was published in Carus trans. 1878b.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 20 November 1876 and n. 4. For CD’s paper, ‘An account of the fine dust which often falls on vessels in the Atlantic Ocean’, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 2 (1846): 26–30, see also Shorter publications, pp. 192–6. Carus’s German translation of it was published in Carus trans. 1878c, pp. 99–104.
The cos lettuce was introduced from the Greek island of Cos (OED).
Carus had sent corrections to Cross and self fertilisation (see letter from J. V. Carus, 20 November 1876). It was published in December 1876 (DAR 210.11: 6). Carus’s corrections were given on an errata slip.


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

Geological observations 2d ed.: Geological observations on the volcanic islands and parts of South America visited during the voyage of H.M.S. ‘Beagle’. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1876.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.

‘Pampean formation’: On the thickness of the Pampean formation, near Buenos Ayres. By Charles Darwin. [Read 3 December 1862.] Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 19 (1863): 68–71. [Shorter publications, pp. 342–5.]

Shorter publications: Charles Darwin’s shorter publications, 1829–1883. Edited by John van Wyhe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2009.

South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third 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. 1846.


Tells JVC what changes have been made in the new edition of his geological book [Volcanic islands and South America].

Does not know why he doubted about the Atlantic dust paper – now thinks it worth translating.

Glad JVC has not found Cross and self-fertilisation as intolerably dull as CD feared. Answers his queries about Cross and self-fertilisation.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10686,” accessed on 31 May 2023,

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