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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   21 July 1862

Cambridge [Massachusetts]

21. July 1862.

My Dear Darwin

The enclosed I trust will please your boy,—who I hope is now well, and his Father also.1

Since my last, in the P.S. to which I hastily acknowledged yours of July 1,2 I have received the casts of cuts of Orchis.3 Very many thanks, I shall use them—to illustrate my 1st part of notice of your book.4 I have received invoice from Trübner & Co for 6 copies—at £3.3. What is the retail price of your book? Is it not half a guinea?5 It would be wrong you should pay for these copies,—since I suppose Murray would supply you at half the price.

No time to write now.— No more Orchid-matter has come to hand.

Ever Yours Cordially | Asa Gray.

CD annotations

3.1 No time … hand.] ‘[Malaxis]brown crayon
Verso of letter: ‘Mitchella. (rec’d)6 | Echinum | Lythrum— | Trübner 6/10=£2:s1:d0’ ink


In the letter to Asa Gray, 10–20 June [1862], CD had told Gray that Leonard Darwin was suffering from scarlet fever, and had asked Gray to send Leonard several kinds of American postage stamp for his collection. In his letter to Gray of 1 July [1862], CD complained that he had felt ‘baddish for 2 or 3 weeks’.
At Gray’s request, CD had arranged for John Murray to send electrotype plates of three of the illustrations from Orchids, figuring Orchis mascula and O. pyramidalis, for reproduction in Gray’s review of the book in the American Journal of Science and Arts (A. Gray 1862a; see letter from Asa Gray, 18 May 1862, letter to Asa Gray, 10–20 June [1862], and letters to John Murray, 13 June [1862] and 20 [June 1862]).
Gray apparently wrote ‘1st part’ in error; he had sent CD a copy of his review of Orchids, which was published in the July number of the American Journal of Science and Arts (A. Gray 1862a), with the letter from Asa Gray, 15 July [1862]. The illustrations were used in Gray’s follow-up article to his review (A. Gray 1862b, pp. 421–3).
Gray had asked CD to arrange for six copies of Orchids to be sent to him by the London publisher and bookseller, Nicholas Trübner, who frequently acted as Gray’s London agent (see letter to Nicholas Trübner, 23 June [1862]). Orchids was offered for sale at a retail price of 9s. (Publishers’ Circular 35 (1862): 247).


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.


Encloses stamps for Leonard Darwin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Cambridge Mass.
Source of text
DAR 165: 114
Physical description
ALS 1p †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3661,” accessed on 23 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10