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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Bentham   15 October [1858]1

Down Bromley Kent

Oct 15th

My dear Sir

At Hooker’s desire I send you Gærtner:2 my copy is shamefully scribbled over, so that I fear it will disgust you. You can keep it for some months if you desire,3 but please let me have it carefully back sometime as it is of much value to me, from the scribbling.4

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is based on the assumption that Bentham was preparing his paper on species (see n. 3, below).
Gärtner 1849. CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL; notes on the work are in DAR 116.
Bentham was preparing a paper in which he addressed questions of nomenclature and paid particular attention to the definition of species. The paper was read at a meeting of the Linnean Society on 15 November 1858 but was not published until 1861 (Bentham 1861). Long extracts from it were printed in Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 20 November 1858, p. 847, and 27 November 1858, pp. 862–3. Although Bentham did not cite Gärtner 1849, he may have wished to consult the data that Karl Friedrich von Gärtner had given on plant hybridisation.
CD had made extensive use of Gärtner’s work in 1855 and 1856. See Correspondence vols. 5 and 6. For CD’s annotations on his copy of the work, see Marginalia.


At Hooker’s request, sends his copy of Gärtner [Bastarderzeugung (1849)], "shamefully scribbled over".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Bentham
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Bentham letters: 686)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2342,” accessed on 18 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7