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Darwin Correspondence Project

From M. T. Masters   12 July 1865

Rye Lane Peckham. S.E.

July 12. 1865

My dear Sir/

I was present when Dr. Caspary’s paper was read1 and saw the drawings he exhibited—to wit Cytisus adami2—a similar case in a Robinia—and a “piebald” orange or citrus—the fruit of wh. blended the characteristics of two species stripe wise!3

I was so struck with the importance of the paper and with the singular results obtained that I requested him to send me the published account (an old friend of mine)   I have no doubt he will do so   I shall be writing to him in a few days as I have a letter of his unanswered and will remind him of the promise— I will take care to forward the paper to you when I get it.—4

Our good friend Dr. Hooker5 may possibly have told you that in a few months I am to undertake the editorship of the Gardener’s Chronicle in conjunction with T. Moore and other practical men6   I hope we shall be favored with communications and enquiries from you on any subject relating to practical Botany Horticulture or rural affairs generally—7

a wide range and so far as possible a high tone are what I shall aim at—

Hoping occasionally to hear from you | believe me—in haste but with great respect | faithfully yrs | Maxwell. T. Masters


Masters refers to a paper by Robert Caspary (Caspary 1865) that was delivered at the Congrès International de Botanique et d’Horticulture held in Amsterdam from 7 to 12 April 1865. CD read about the paper in Gardeners’ Chronicle (29 April 1865, p. 386) and asked Joseph Dalton Hooker for information on obtaining it (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [1 May 1865] and nn. 3 and 4, and letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 May 1865 and n. 12; see also CD’s annotations to the letter from T. H. Huxley, 1 May 1865). CD’s lightly annotated copy of Caspary 1865, along with a handwritten translation, annotated by CD, is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
CD discussed Caspary’s research on Cytisus adami (now +Laburnocytisus adamii) in Variation 1: 387–91, 406–7, and 2: 37, 364–5 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [1 May 1865] and n. 3).
There is no mention of Robinia in Caspary 1865. The orange tree to which Masters refers is discussed in Caspary 1865, pp. 2–5, and mentioned by CD in Variation 1: 391, where he notes that it produces ‘compound fruit’, with the bitter orange and citron being ‘either blended together, both externally and internally, or segregated in various ways’.
CD probably received a copy of the paper via Caspary in 1866 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [1 May 1865] and n. 4).
Joseph Dalton Hooker.
John Lindley, the editor and one of the founders of the Gardeners’ Chronicle, was listed on the title page of the magazine as editor until his death on 1 November 1865 (see Gardeners’ Chronicle, 4 November 1865, p. 1033), but had most likely given up the actual editing of the magazine before then owing to ill health (see Gardeners’ Chronicle, 18 November 1865, p. 1083). Masters and Thomas Moore, Lindley’s assistant editor since 1841, probably shared editorial duties during Lindley’s illness. Masters’s official editorship commenced in November 1865, while Moore became co-editor from 1866 (see Gardeners’ Chronicle, 8 June 1907, p. 368; see also letter from M. T. Masters, September 1865).
CD often sent letters to the Gardeners’ Chronicle, asking for information from readers, reporting on his own observations, or summarising facts sent to him by other botanists (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 9, letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 15 June 1861]). CD’s annotated copies of the Gardeners’ Chronicle from 1841 to 1871 are in the Cory Library, Cambridge Botanic Garden.


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

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Will forward Robert Caspary’s paper to CD when it is published ["Sur les hybrides obtenus par la greffe", Bull. Congr. Int. Bot. & Hortic. Amsterdam (1865): 65–80].

MTM is to become editor of Gardeners’ Chronicle.

Letter details

Letter no.
Maxwell Tylden Masters
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 171: 72
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4871,” accessed on 25 January 2022,

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