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Darwin Correspondence Project

To James Verrell?   13 September [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept. 13th

Dear Sir,

I am very sorry for all the trouble which I have caused you. I cannot think how I blundered the first time; the second blunder was natural enough.2 I suppose I looked at the Table of Contents which is repeated in 2d Part. Will you therefore be so good as to return me Part 2 of vol. 162 & forgive me for causing so much trouble.3

[Requests a copy of ‘The Quarterly Magazine of the High Wyckombe Natural History Society’.] I have seen an important reference to a paper in it on [Utricularia], in a journal published early in 1868. So I suppose the paper (author’s name unknown) to be above mag. for 1867 or beginning of 1868.4 [Darwin concludes by asking for the journal to be forwarded if available.]


The year is established by the reference to Utricularia (bladderwort), which CD began to work on intensively in September 1874. The printed notepaper is of a sort that CD stopped using in November 1874. Verrell seems to have handled CD’s journal subscriptions (letter to James Verrell, 21 September 1874).
No other letters from CD on this subject have been found.
CD refers to Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 162 (1872), which came in two parts, with the title page of the first part repeated in the second part. CD’s copies of Philosophical Transactions are in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
CD cited Robert Holland’s article on bladderworts (Utricularia) from the Quarterly Magazine of the High Wycombe Natural History Society in Insectivorous plants, p. 395, for its remarks on the probable function of the bladders in capturing insects for the plants’ food (Holland 1868, p. 5).


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


Should like to borrow again a volume which he returned in error. Requests The Quarterly Magazine of the High Wycombe Natural History Society for 1867 and 1868 to locate paper on Utricularia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James Verrell
Sent from
Source of text
Gallery of History (dealers), 20 October 1983
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9635A,” accessed on 9 December 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22