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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Dieffenbach   15 August [1843]

Down near Bromley | Kent

Aug. 15

Dear Sir

I have just received your letter & lose no time in sending off my notes.1 They appear rather more bulky than they really are.— I hope you will be so good as to take the trouble to introduce them, as I am sure they will render the work more worthy of perusal.— Tomorrow I will write about the wood cuts & copper plate.— Please to return them, when used addressed to me, to the “care of E. Darwin Esqre. 43 Grt. Marlborough St London.”— The jack or jaca tree, is the Artocarpus integrifolia. The organism described at p. 16 belongs in the common opinion to the Vegetable Kingdom & comes near to or under the Confervæ.—

I hope the enclosed bundle of paper will not put you to much expence in Postage, but you forgot to answer my question on that point.—

I fear there is little chance of my seeing Ld Derby,2 but I certainly will bear your claims in mind, shd, I ever hear of any fitting opportunity for the exercise of your talents & knowledge in travelling.3

Believe me dear Sir | in Haste yours very faithfully | C. Darwin


Dieffenbach’s use of these notes for his German translation of Journal of researches makes it the first revised edition of that work. The first revised English edition appeared in 1845.
Edward Smith Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby and President of the Zoological Society, kept a famous menagerie at Knowsley Hall, near Liverpool. To stock it, he employed agents who collected specimens all over the world.
Dieffenbach apparently had an interview with Lord Derby during his visit to England in 1845 (DNZB).


DNZB: A dictionary of New Zealand biography. Edited by G. H. Scholefield. 2 vols. Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Internal Affairs. 1940. The dictionary of New Zealand biography. Edited by W. H. Oliver et al. 5 vols. Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Internal Affairs [and others]. 1990–2000.

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.


CD sends off his notes [corrections and additions to his Journal of researches] which he hopes ED will introduce [in German translation].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Dieffenbach
Sent from
Source of text
J. A. Stargardt (dealers) Cat. 574 1965.11.11–13
Physical description
ALS 1p (facsimile)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 689,” accessed on 17 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2