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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   30 September 18[80]1


Sept. 30. 18⁠⟨⁠80⁠⟩⁠

My Dear Mr. Darwin

I had hoped to see you during this fortnight, but it has been completely filled by pressing work here. Hooker could not spare me on Monday; and I was sure that one foreigner was enough for you to see and talk with in one day, and so I spared you from a sense of duty as well as of necessity.2

We are off tomorrow morning, for 3 or 4 months. ⁠⟨⁠We⁠⟩⁠ shall then settle at Kew.

Mrs. Darwin and yourself will be glad to know that Mrs. Gray3 bore the voyage very well, and is wonderfully recruited since.

I long to see your Circumnutating book, and must write one, if not two notices of it in U.S. Perhaps you could get it over to me—to Decaisne’s care, at the Jardin des Plantes, as soon as it is out.4

Sincerely Yours | Asa Gray


The year is established by the reference to Movement in plants; see n. 4, below.
Gray had sailed for England in early September 1880 and was visiting Joseph Dalton Hooker at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as part of his research at herbaria in Europe. Alphonse de Candolle and his wife Jeanne-Victoire-Laure de Candolle were also staying at Kew; Alphonse de Candolle visited Down on 27 September 1880 (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 24 September 1880).
Movement in plants was published on 6 November 1880 (Freeman 1977). Joseph Decaisne was based at the Jardin des plantes in Paris; Gray visited Decaisne at his house in November 1880, and had read nearly all of Movement in plants by 26 December 1880 (J. L. Gray ed. 1893, 2: 709 and 714). Gray’s reviews of Movement in plants were in the American Journal of Science 3d ser. 21 (1881): 245–9 and Nation 32 (1881): 17–18.


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.

Gray, Jane Loring, ed. 1893. Letters of Asa Gray. 2 vols. London: Macmillan and Co.

Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.


Leaves Kew the next day for three or four months of travel.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 165: 166
Physical description
ALS 2pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6400,” accessed on 17 May 2022,