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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Murray   9 June 1880

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

June 9th. 1880

My dear Sir

My son is going to publish a Lecture, compiled from my ‘Climbing Plants’ in the Q. J. of Science. Mr. Dallas, the editor, had intended giving a Plate, but has now to give another & wants much 5 woodcuts.1 Should you object to lend him 5 of them; for I doubt whether there is time to make cliches of them. My son’s paper is in type & the number appears on July 1st.— I want much to oblige Mr. Dallas & the drawings are almost necessary for my son’s article. Therefore I beg you to do what you can for me at once; & the originals or the cliches had better be sent to Mr. Dallas, Geolog. Soc. Burlington House.—2

My son’s article will, also, serve as an advertisement.

The numbers of the Blocks,, as given in my book, are 1, 2, 5, 11, 13.—3

I suppose the new Edit: of “The Different Forms of Flowers” is now completed, & I shd. like to have a copy for myself; & if you do not object (on account of old copies not yet sold) I shd. like a copy to be sent to ‘Nature’ & another to Linnean Soc. Burlington House.4

I have not yet received any proofs of my new Book.5

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. If original blocks from Climbing Plants are sent to Mr. Dallas, you had better enclose memorandum, asking for their prompt return, & if cliches, an account of their cost.

My absence from home has caused several day’s delay.6


Francis Darwin was publishing his lecture on climbing plants, given to the Sunday Lecture Society at St George’s Hall, London, on 25 January 1880 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242). CD wrote Quarterly Journal of Science in error. Francis’s article appeared in the July 1880 issue of the Popular Science Review, edited by William Sweetland Dallas (F. Darwin 1880c).
Clichés were stereotype plates of the woodcuts. Murray had published the second edition of Climbing plants and CD had received permission from the Linnean Society to allow Murray to use the thirteen woodblocks made when the work originally appeared in the Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany); see Correspondence vol. 23, letter to Linnean Society, 1 January [1875]. Dallas was assistant secretary to the Geological Society of London.
The illustrations required were in Climbing plants 2d ed., pp. 47, 54, 86, 148, and 165.
Forms of flowers 2d ed. was published in July 1880 (Freeman 1977); a presentation list for this work has not been found.
CD visited his son William Erasmus Darwin at Bassett, Southampton, from 25 May to 8 June 1880 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Climbing plants 2d ed.: The movements and habits of climbing plants. 2d edition. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Darwin, Francis. 1880d. Climbing plants. Popular Science Review 19: 213–29.

Forms of flowers 2d ed.: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. 2d edition. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.

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.

Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.


Asks JM to provide Quarterly Journal of Science with five woodcuts from Climbing plants to illustrate an article, based on that work, by Francis Darwin [see 12462].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Murray
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 368–9)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12625,” accessed on 21 February 2024,