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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Gordon   22 June [1861]1


June 22d

Dear Sir

I write one line to thank you most sincerely for your kind note & efforts to assist me.3 Corallorhiza would certainly be most valuable to me. I shd. especially wish for a few flowers in large bud.—4

I shall remain here for another week or 10 days. Immediately that I reach Devonshire, I will send my address.— Unfortunately on account of business I cannot fix my day of departure;5 nor my address at sea-side till we get there; but it will be Torquay.—

With very sincere thanks | Pray believe me | Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin

I think my observations on the fertilisation of Orchids are new & interesting.

Whenever I publish I will do myself the pleasure of sending you a copy of my paper.—

P.S   We have just been able to fix to start on July 1st. but our journey to Torquay on account of my poor daughter will take three days6


Dated by the reference to the Darwins’ planned holiday in Torquay. They stayed there from 1 July to 27 August 1861 (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).
The address has been excised from the letter.
Gordon’s response to CD’s letter of 17 June [1861] has not been found. CD acknowledged his assistance in Orchids, p. 112.
The orchid genus Corallorhiza is not described in Orchids.
CD was engaged in negotiations to secure William Erasmus Darwin a partnership in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank, Southampton.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary, the Darwins spent the night of 1 July 1861 in Reading en route to Torquay.


Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.


Thanks GG for his efforts. Corallorhiza would be most valuable.

Leaves for Torquay on 1 July.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Gordon
Sent from
Source of text
Elgin Museum (Gordon Archive 61.8)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3191,” accessed on 22 October 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9