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Darwin Correspondence Project

To the editors of the Annals and Magazine of Natural History   23 July 1869

[Caerdeon, Barmouth]


Having drawn up some notes for a French translation of my work ‘On the various contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilized by Insects’ (1862), it has appeared to me that these notes would be worth publishing in English.1 I have thus been able to bring up the literature of the subject to the present day, by giving references to, together with very brief abstracts of, all the papers published since my work appeared. These papers contain, on the one hand, corrections of some serious errors into which I had fallen, and, on the other hand, confirmations of many of my statements. I have also been able to add, from my own observations and those of others, a few new facts of interest. A heading is given to each note, which will show the nature of the correction or addition, without any reference to my book; but I have added in a parenthesis the page to which the note ought to be appended.2

Gentlemen, | Your obedient Servant, | Charles Darwin.

Down, Beckenham, Kent.

July 23, 1869.


CD refers to Orchids and Rérolle trans. 1870. For more on CD’s additions, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 March [1869], n. 5.
This letter accompanied ‘Fertilization of orchids’.


‘Fertilization of orchids’: Notes on the fertilization of orchids. By Charles Darwin. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 4th ser. 4 (1869): 141–59. [Collected papers 2: 138–56.]

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.


CD passes on notes prepared for the French translation of Orchids so that his book may be brought up to date in English as well.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Annals and Magazine of Natural History
Sent from
Source of text
Annals and Magazine of Natural History 4th ser. 4 (1869): 142

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6840A,” accessed on 20 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17