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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   14 November [1867]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Nov 14—

My dear Sir

As you wd probably like to finish Vol. 1 I send by this post a corrected revise which will be intelligible to you.2 You can return it hereafter with Newmeister,3 for I often find old revises come in useful. Never mind about the title-page. Herr Sweizerbart is unreasonable, & if I were in your place I wd silence him.4

As all the 2 nd revises of Vol 2 except of the 4 last sheets are finally corrected, the printers before long must print off; but on account of the index which is not yet finished I suppose the book will not be published till early in Decr.5

My publisher always sells by auction his books in advance & to my great surprize he sold at the auction 1200 copies of my book.6

I thank you sincerely for your intended corrections; but Gean is correct, & is the name of a whole group of cherries; but in what language I know not.7 The 2 references to Gardener’s Chronicle are correct, but when I saw the odd coincidence, I thought I had made a mistake.8

Rely on me there shall be no delay in sending clean sheets.

Believe me my dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 11 November 1867.
CD refers to the first volume of Variation.
CD had sent Carus a copy of a book by Gottlob Neumeister on pigeon breeding (Neumeister 1837; see letter to J. V. Carus, 16 September 1867).
CD refers to the new director of the publishing firm E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, whose name was in fact Eduard Friedrich Koch. See letter from J. V. Carus, 11 November 1867 and n. 5.
The index was being compiled by William Sweetland Dallas (see, for example, letter from W. S. Dallas, 10 November 1867). Variation was published in January 1868 (Freeman 1977).
On publishers’ customary November ‘sale dinners’, see J. Murray 1908–9, p. 540. Freeman 1977 records 1250 copies of Variation sold at John Murray’s autumn sale in 1867.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 11 November 1867 and n. 4. The word ‘gean’ is of Romance origin (OED).


Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Murray, John. 1908–9. Darwin and his publisher. Science Progress in the Twentieth Century 3: 537–42.

Neumeister, Gottlob. 1837. Das Ganze der Taubenzucht. Weimar: B. F. Voigt.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.

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


Sends revision of vol. 1 [of Variation]. Advance sale at auction sold 1200 copies, to CD’s great surprise. Publication delayed by index.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5678,” accessed on 19 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15