skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Bentham   18 January [1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Jan 18th

My dear Mr. Bentham

I am greatly obliged to you for having sent me your Report on Systematic Botany, which I have read with great interest & admiration at your wisdom & deliberate judgment.—2 But I ought not out of common modesty to have used these latter words, considering the way in which you speak of my book; & it was to tell you with what a glow of satisfaction I read these very words, as coming from you, which make my excuse for writing at all.3

With sincere respect, I remain, my dear Mr. Bentham | Yours very truly | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Bentham 1874 (see n. 2, below).
There is an offprint of Bentham’s report to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, ‘Recent progress and present state of systematic botany’ (Bentham 1874), in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
In Bentham 1874, p. 33, Bentham wrote that CD’s Origin, with its doctrine of the evolution of species, made it possible to ascend the ‘higher summits’ of systematic botany.


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Thanks GB for his "Report on [the recent progress and present state of] systematic botany" [Rep. BAAS (1874): 27–54] and for the way in which he refers to CD’s book.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Bentham
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (GEB/1/3: Correspondence, Vol. 3, Daintree-Dyer, (1830–1884) 719)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9824,” accessed on 28 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23