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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   7 February 1875

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

Feb. 7. 75

My dear Sir

Many thanks for all the errata which your sharp eyes have detected—1 I hope to begin printing my book on Insectivorous Plants, (the 2nd Part of which will include my paper on Climbing Plants corrected,) in two or three months.2 I really do not know at all how big a book it will make, but from the appearance of the pile of MSS, I fear that the two parts together will make a large book; tho’ I shall print the details in small type.3 It will I think be impossible for you to include anything else in the same volume. My next work will give all my experiments on the good effects of crossing, together with my republished papers on Di & Tri morphic plants. But I have to add new researches on this subject.4 I cannot form any idea how big the book will be; but I should think that the Orchid book might possibly be added to it. As I hear that all copies of this latter book are sold, I suppose before long there must be a new Editn., which I fear will require some correction.5

My book of Travels is stereotyped & has never been touched since it was first printed in 1845.6

I am very much obliged for your promised to send me the concluding volume of your Zoology.7

I hope your health is fairly good, & that its failure is not the cause of your not lecturing at Edinburgh8

Believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Carus had sent a list of errata for Descent 2d ed. with his letter of 5 February 1875; it has not been found.
Insectivorous plants was published in July 1875; Climbing plants 2d ed. was published in November 1875 (Publishers’ circular, 16 July 1875, p. 498, and 16 November 1875, p. 932).
CD had used a smaller typeface for some of the more technical parts of his earlier book, Variation, in order to reduce the size of the work (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to John Murray, 8 January [1867]).
Carus had proposed publishing some of CD’s botanical work in a collection (see letter from J. V. Carus, 5 February 1875). In Cross and self fertilisation, published in 1876, CD gave the results of his experiments comparing the vigour of seedlings grown from cross-fertilised and self-fertilised plants over several generations. In Forms of flowers, published in 1877, CD revised some of the material from earlier papers such as ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula, ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria, and ‘Illegitimate offspring of dimorphic and trimorphic plants’.
Orchids 2d ed. was published in 1877; it contained many revisions based on new material CD had received from correspondents, especially on foreign species that were not available to him.
Handbuch der Zoologie (Carus and Gaerstaecker 1863–75). See letter from J. V. Carus, 5 February 1875 and n. 6.
Carus suffered from bronchial problems. His health had improved while he was in Edinburgh, where he gave a course of lectures in the summers of 1873 and 1874, replacing Charles Wyville Thomson, who was head of the civilian scientists on the oceanographic survey ship HMS Challenger from 1872 to 1876 (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter from J. V. Carus, 19 January 1874). Thomas Henry Huxley took over from Carus in the summer of 1875 (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter from J. D. Hooker, 25 November 1874, and this volume, letter to J. V. Carus, 19 April [1875]).


Climbing plants 2d ed.: The movements and habits of climbing plants. 2d edition. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 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.

Descent 2d ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: John Murray. 1874.

‘Dimorphic condition in Primula’: On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations. By Charles Darwin. [Read 21 November 1861.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. [Collected papers 2: 45–63.]

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.

‘Illegitimate offspring of dimorphic and trimorphic plants’: On the character and hybrid-like nature of the offspring from the illegitimate unions of dimorphic and trimorphic plants. By Charles Darwin. [Read 20 February 1868.] Journal of the Linnean Society of London (Botany) 10 (1869): 393–437.

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

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Orchids 2d ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. London: John Murray. 1877.

‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’: On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria. By Charles Darwin. [Read 16 June 1864.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 8 (1865): 169–96. [Collected papers 2: 106–31.]

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Thanks JVC for errata [in Descent, 2d ed.].

Discusses work in progress and publication plans.

Will be pleased to receive concluding volume of JVC’s Zoologie [see 8531].

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9844,” accessed on 28 January 2020,

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