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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   17 June [1877]1

Bassett, Southampton. | (where I shall be for next 2 or 3 weeks).2

June 17th.

My dear Sir

I am heartily glad that your Naples expedition has answered so well for you in every way.—3

My new book is not a long one, viz 350 pages, chiefly of the larger type, with 15 simple wood-cuts. All the proofs are corrected, except the Index, so that it will soon be published.—4 I have sent you the 8 first sheets in two parcels, each of 4 sheets, which you ought to have received ere this.—

I do not suppose that I shall publish any more books, though perhaps a few more papers. I cannot endure being idle, but Heaven knows whether I am capable of any more good work:—

Thanks for erratum, the troublesome printers separated the “a” from the “sexual”, after I had seen the last proof—5

With cordial thanks for your never failing kindness towards me.

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 13 June 1877.
CD stayed at William Erasmus Darwin’s house in Bassett, Southampton, from 13 June to 4 July (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Carus had spent three months at the Zoological Station in Naples (see letter from J. V. Carus, 13 June 1877 and n. 4.
Forms of flowers was published in July 1877 (Freeman 1977); it was 352 pages long, excluding preliminaries. Carus translated the book and it was published as part of volume 9 of the German edition of CD’s collected works (Carus trans. 1877e).
Carus had noted this mistake in Orchids 2d ed., p. 58 (see letter from J. V. Carus, 13 June 1877 and n. 1).


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.

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


Forms of flowers will soon be published and is not a long book.

Does not suppose he will publish any more books, "though perhaps a few more papers". He "cannot endure being idle, but Heaven knows whether I am capable of any more good work".

Erratum JVC sent was due to a printer’s error after he had seen last proofs.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11005,” accessed on 13 June 2021,