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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Arthur Henfrey   31 March [1855]

Down Farnborough Kent.

March 31st

My dear Sir

I thank you exceedingly & very sincerely for all the trouble you have taken.1 I really had no thought to give so much trouble.— You indeed in your note show yourself well up to the current literature— If you cannot find Godron, it is hopeless. It is not known by booksellers at Paris, or here by Williams & Norgate2 or at Kew by Hooker & Bentham.—

I shd. certainly have been very glad to have known what it is about. But I must give it up.3 How useful a parallel book to Agassiz & Stricklands Zoolog Bibliography4 would be in Botany!.— Thank you, also, for telling me where to find Hornschuch, though your remarks take off much of my wish to see it.5

Thank you very much for the extremely kind manner in which you offer me assistance: I do not know that I shall require it; but if I do, I will not scruple to intrude on your kindness.

Pray believe me | My dear Sir | Your’s truly obliged | Charles Darwin


Booksellers specialising in foreign medical and scientific literature.
CD recorded the title of Godron’s paper (Godron 1848–9) in his list of books to be read and at some stage marked it as having been read (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, *128: 177). However, it is likely that he did not succeed in locating a copy until after writing Natural selection and Origin, for it is not cited in either of these works. CD acquired a copy of Godron’s expanded version of the earlier work (Godron 1859), which is now in the Darwin Library–CUL.
The Bibliographia zoologiæ et geologiæ, compiled by Louis Agassiz and expanded by Hugh Strickland (Agassiz 1848–54). CD had prepared a list of his publications for inclusion (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to HE. Strickland, 29 January [1849]).
Hornschuch 1848 (see letter to Arthur Henfrey, 17 March [1855]). In spite of his reservations, CD cited Friedrich Hornschuch twice in Natural selection, pp. 102, 127.


Agassiz, Louis. 1848–54. Bibliographia zoologiæ et geologiæ: a general catalogue of all books, tracts, and memoirs on zoology and geology. Edited and enlarged by Hugh Edwin Strickland. 4 vols. London: Ray Society.

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

Godron, Dominique Alexandre. 1848–9. De l’espèce et des races dans les êtres organisés du monde actuel. Mémoires de la Société Royale des Sciences, Lettres et Arts de Nancy (1848): 182–288; De l’espèce considérée dans les êtres organisés, appartenant aux périodes géologiques qui ont précédé celle où nous vivons. Mémoires de la Société des Sciences, Lettres et Arts de Nancy (1849): 381-420. Reprinted separately. 2 vols. Nancy. 1848–9.

Godron, Dominique Alexandre. 1859. De l’espèce et des races dans les êtres organisés et spécialement de l’unité de l’espèce humaine. 2 vols. Paris: J. B. Baillière.

Hornschuch, Christian Friedrich. 1848. Ueber Ausartung der Pflanzen. Flora, oder allgemeine botanische Zeitung n.s. 6: 17-28, 33–44, 50–64, 66–86. [Vols. 5,6]

Natural selection: Charles Darwin’s Natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Edited by R. C. Stauffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Thanks AH for seeking reference. If AH cannot find Godron [see 1648] it is hopeless. Thanks for reference to C. F. Hornschuch.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Arthur Henfrey
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1658,” accessed on 7 December 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5