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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Fritz Müller   25 September 1873

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sep 25. 73.

My dear Sir,

It is a long time since I have received a letter from you,1 & I should very much like to hear how you are & what you are doing. I write now to say that I heard yesterday from the publisher of the Translation of Facts for Darwin that the sale has at last exceeded the cost of publication; & it is scandalous what charges all English publishers make. If I remember rightly 1500 copies were printed off, & he has about 500 on hand. He has transmitted to me only £4"13s"1d, how can I send this to you?2 Or shall I purchase any books & send them to you?

Several months ago I was delighted to receive your brother’s book, which seems to me quite excellent.3 I hope in about a year’s time to publish the results of experiments carried on for about 7 years, which will prove what great vigour is given to seedling plants by the crossing of their parents; & it makes it clear why such elaborate contrivances have been developed for this purpose.4 But before publishing this, I shall print a little work on the physiological powers of Drosera & some allied plants; & I think the facts are very curious.5 I will of course send you a copy whenever it is published. I sent you a copy of my book on Expression, which I hope that you received but I cannot remember whether or not I have heard from you since6

Believe me, my dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Charles Darwin


The last extant letter from Müller is that of 16 January 1872 (Correspondence vol. 20).
John Murray was the publisher and William Sweetland Dallas the translator of Müller’s Facts and arguments for Darwin (F. Müller 1864; Dallas trans. 1869). CD had not received this payment, but evidently had arranged to pay the sum due to Müller and offset it against the monies he owed Murray for presentation copies of various books (see letter from John Murray, 23 September [1873] and n. 2). CD’s Account books–cash account (Down House MS) record a payment on 24 September 1873 to Murray ‘less 4. 13. 1 Profit for Fritz Müller’.
Hermann Müller sent CD his book on the fertilisation of flowers by means of insects (H. Müller 1873) in February (see letter from Hermann Müller, 28 February 1873).
Cross and self fertilisation was published in 1876.
Insectivorous plants was published in 1875.
Fritz Müller’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for Expression (Correspondence vol. 20, Appendix V). According to a note on this letter in Müller’s hand, he answered it on 16 December 1873, but his reply has not been found.


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

Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

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

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Müller, Hermann. 1873. Die Befruchtung der Blumen durch Insekten und die gegenseitigen Anpassungen beider. Ein Beitrag zur Erkenntniss des ursächlichen Zusammenhanges in der organischen Natur. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.


Seedling vigour resulting from crossing of parents.

CD to publish work on insectivorous plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Sent from
Source of text
British Library (Loan MS 10 no 35)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9067,” accessed on 23 October 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21