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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George King   November 1872

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

November | 1872

Dear Sir

I am very much obliged for your letter, which has interested me much. I intend to put together my notes this winter or next summer, so that I fear any future observations in India would be too late.—1 As far as I know no one has ever attended in any way the worm-castings except myself; and I did not even know before hearing from Mr. Scott, whether the worms thus acted in Tropical countries:—2 I hear from Professor Asa Gray that worms are as troublesome in lawns in the united states as with us.—3 I hope that your residence in south Europe will suit you & be pleasant.4 Perhaps you will be so kind as just to observe & inform me—whether there are many worm-castings there. I now remember your having written to me about the abnormal tree;5 though I had forgotten it when I wrote to you, as I receive a large number of letters from persons with whom I am personally unacquainted.

Pray believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


King’s letter has not been found, but see the letter to George King, 28 October 1872. Earthworms was not published until 1881, and it contained observations by King on worm castings in both India and the south of France.
See letters from John Scott, 22 March 1872 and 25 September 1872.
King had sent CD specimens of Paritium tricuspis (now Talipariti hastatum) that produced flowers and leaves resembling those of another species (see Correspondence vol. 19, letter to George King, 27 January [1871]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Earthworms: The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms: with observations on their habits. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1881.


Obliged for letter on worm-castings. Asks GK to observe them in southern Europe.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George King
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 146: 13
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8589,” accessed on 22 October 2020,

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