skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ray Society1   [before 7 January 1865]2

1141 In reference to Minutes 1118 & 1132, the consideration of the Translation of Gaertner’s work on Bastardezeugung was then resumed, & a letter from Mr Darwin was read stating that the work was in no degree antiquated & that no one would be able to add to it notes of much value—3 The production of an English Translation of this work being strongly recommended both by Mr Darwin & Dr Hooker | Resolved to accept the Translation of Gaertner’s work for an early year.4


The letter has not been found. The text given here has been taken from the minutes of the special council meeting of the Ray Society, 13 January 1865.
The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865].
CD had previously written to the Ray Society, recommending a translation of Karl Friedrich von Gärtner’s Versuche und Beobachtungen über die Bastarderzeugung im Pflanzenreich (Gärtner 1849; see Correspondence vol. 12, enclosure to letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 September [1864]). This letter was read at the special council meeting of the Ray Society on 4 November 1864 (see Correspondence vol. 12, letter to Ray Society, [before 4 November 1864]). On receiving a communication from the society’s secretary, Henry Tibbats Stainton, Joseph Dalton Hooker had asked CD to write a second letter of recommendation, evidently addressing concerns about the possible need for explanatory notes to accompany the translation (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 January 1865 and n. 1).
The translation was not undertaken (see Curle 1954, pp. 25–6).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Curle, Richard. 1954. The Ray Society: a bibliographical history. London: Ray Society.

Gärtner, Karl Friedrich von. 1849. Versuche und Beobachtungen über die Bastarderzeugung im Pflanzenreich. Mit Hinweisung auf die ähnlichen Erscheinungen im Thierreiche, ganz umgearbeitete und sehr vermehrte Ausgabe der von der Königlich holländischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Stuttgart: E. Schweizerbart.


Concerning the proposed translation of K. F. von Gärtner’s Bastarderzeugung (1849).

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4744F,” accessed on 1 December 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13