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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Alphonse de Candolle1   18 September 1862

Mon cher Monsieur

j’ai recu et lu avec un grand interet le volume sur les Orchidées que vous avez bien voulu m’envoyer.2 Il est tellement rempli de faits qu’on voudrait pouvoir le lire à côté de chaque plante mentionnée pour comprendre mieux les détails, mais il y a souvent des idées générales qui se rattachent à l’ensemble de vos théories et c’est ce qui m’a le plus intéressé. Je viens de remettre au Directeur de la Bibliothèque universelle pour la partie scientifique deux pages environ pour annoncer l’ouvrage.3 Je n’ai pas osé entrer dans plus de détails, mais chaque lecteur doit être averti voir le livre si cela l’intéresse.

Les masses polliniques implantées sur les insectes ont donné lieu jadis à de singulières erreurs. Je ne sais plus quels botanistes les avaient prises pour des cryptogames! Wydler, autant qu’il me souvient, en a fait l’objet d’un article pour relever l’erreur, dans quelque journal allemand—il y a 25 ou 30 ans.4

Les derniers cahiers du Bulletin de la Société botanique de France renferment des articles sur l’hybridation par Lecoq5 et sur le dimorphisme dans les Orchidées par Duchartre6 qui touchent un peu aux sujets dont vous vous occupez.

Je fais bien des vœux pour votre santé car avec un si grand tresor accumulé de bonnes observations il serait facheux de ne pas continuer à publier.7

Mon travail sur les Quercus est fini.8 La partie description dans le Prodrome sera la principale,9 mais je compte publier auparavant deux petits opuscules que j’aurai l’avantage de vous adresser.10

Agréez, je vous prie, en attendant l’assurance de mes sentiments très dévoués | Alph. de Candolle

Genève 18 Sept. 1862.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix I.
Candolle’s name appears on the presentation list for Orchids (see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix IV).
A. de Candolle 1862d.
The article by Heinrich Wydler has not been identified. See also Baehni 1955, p. 119 n. 13.
Lecoq 1862.
Duchartre 1862.
Candolle and Candolle 1824–73, 16, pt 2: 1–109.
A. de Candolle 1862b and 1862c; there are annotated copies of these works in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. See also letter from Alphonse de Candolle, 13 June 1862 and n. 10.

Bibliography

Baehni, Charles. 1955. Correspondance de Charles Darwin et d’Alphonse de Candolle. Gesnerus 12 (1955): 109–56.

Candolle, Augustin Pyramus de and Candolle, Alphonse de. 1824–73. Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis, sive enumeratio contracta ordinum generum specierumque plantarum huc usque cognitarum, juxta methodi naturalis normas digesta. 19 vols. Paris: Treuttel & Würtz [and others].

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.

Translation

From Alphonse de Candolle1   18 September 1862

My dear Sir

I received and read with great interest the volume on Orchids that you were kind enough to send me.2 It is so full of facts that one would like to be able to read it next to each plant mentioned in order to understand the details better, but there are many general ideas that relate to your theories as a whole and it is this aspect that interested me the most. I have just sent to the editor of the scientific part of the Bibliothèque universelle a few pages to announce the work.3 I did not dare go into details, but every reader should be alerted to see the book if interested.

The pollen masses attached to insects have in the past given rise to curious mistakes. I cannot remember which botanists had taken them for cryptogams! As far as I can remember, Wydler devoted an article to pointing out the mistake in some German journal—twenty-five or thirty years ago.4

The last issues of the Bulletin de la Société botanique de France contain articles on hybridisation by Lecoq5 and on dimorphism in Orchids by Duchartre6 that touch upon the subjects with which you are occupied.

I send you my best wishes for your health since with such a wealth of good observations it would be unfortunate if you could not publish any more.7

My work on Quercus is finished.8 The descriptive section in the Prodromus will be the main thing,9 but I intend to publish beforehand two little pamphlets which I shall take the opportunity to send you.10

In the meantime, please accept the expression of my highest regard | Alph. de Candolle

Geneva 18 Sept. 1862.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see Correspondence vol. 10, p. 418.
Candolle’s name appears on the presentation list for Orchids (see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix IV).
A. de Candolle 1862d.
The article by Heinrich Wydler has not been identified. See also Baehni 1955, p. 119 n. 13.
Lecoq 1862.
Duchartre 1862.
Candolle and Candolle 1824–73, 16, pt 2: 1–109.
A. de Candolle 1862b and 1862c; there are annotated copies of these works in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. See also letter from Alphonse de Candolle, 13 June 1862 and n. 10.

Bibliography

Baehni, Charles. 1955. Correspondance de Charles Darwin et d’Alphonse de Candolle. Gesnerus 12 (1955): 109–56.

Candolle, Augustin Pyramus de and Candolle, Alphonse de. 1824–73. Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis, sive enumeratio contracta ordinum generum specierumque plantarum huc usque cognitarum, juxta methodi naturalis normas digesta. 19 vols. Paris: Treuttel & Würtz [and others].

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.

Summary

Praises Orchids.

He has finished his work on Quercus.

H. Lecoq has worked on hybridism,

and P. Duchartre on orchid polymorphism.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-3730
From
Alphonse de Candolle
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Geneva
Source of text
DAR 161.1: 11
Physical description
2pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3730,” accessed on 20 October 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-3730.xml

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

letter