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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   10 October [1872]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. [Sevenoaks, Kent.]

Oct 10th

My dear Sir

I am sincerely glad to hear that your health is improved.—2 Many thanks for your letter & all the remarks, which shall be carefully considered, whenever I have an opportunity of correcting a new edition.3

I felt very doubtful about the very points which you criticise. viz about the degree to which imitation has come into play, & about the “arrectores pili”.—4 I knew about the striped muscles in the iris of Birds; but then as the muscles of the heart are striped, I did not know what to conclude.—5 I am very much pleased to hear that you like my book, & I really could form no opinion on its merits. No one else has read it.—

It is a misprint “sloe-back” for “sloe-black”.—6

Please alter the I in reference at p. 149.—7

I am writing this away from home; as I am knocked up & want rest. On my return home in about 20 days, I will endeavour to find reference to words quoted from Shaspeare.—8 I have no copy of proof-sheets with me.—

I sent lately the German title, index &c & clean copies of 2 first sheets, in which I am not sure, whether there were any corrections; but all the other sheets were finally corrected.—

I will of course send you a copy of my book, when published.—9

Whenever you come to England I shall be delighted to see you.— A work on geographical distribution wd. be a most arduous undertaking; but you seem to fear no amount of labour.10

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 7 October 1872.
CD refers to Expression.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 7 October 1872 and n. 3. The heart is the only involuntary muscle that is striated or striped, but myocardial muscle fibres are smaller and shorter than those of skeletal muscles.
CD stayed in Sevenoaks from 5 to 26 October 1872 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). For the Shakespeare quotations, see the letter from J. V. Carus, 7 October 1872 and n. 7.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 7 October 1872. Carus’s projected work on geographical distribution was not realised.


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Will consider JVC’s comments on Expression when he prepares a new edition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Julius Victor Carus
Sent from
Sevenoaks Down letterhead
Source of text
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 92–93)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8553,” accessed on 4 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20