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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   19 April [1875]1

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

April 19th

My dear Sir

It pleases me greatly that you like my Journal, for I always feel towards this book, like a mother to her first-born child.—2 At p. 148 I did mean jaded or greatly fatigued; for the cattle in this state though too tired to travel much further have strength enough to rush into the wonderful beds of thistles & thus escape.—

p. 173—“fossil & extinct” is, as you say, evidently a misprint (& a very stupid one) for “extinct & living” marsupials.

There is no mistake (p. 346) about the little story of the ore; but I have not, it seems, made myself clear; the miners were aiding (or acting in concert with) the gentleman who won the bet. The owner of the mine who lost the bet would merely watch which of the two stones rolled furthest, but the miners observed the exact spot & could thus recover the piece of ore. On this occasion the act was done merely as a joke, but on other occasions as a means of stealing. I thank you for your enquiries, & you certainly are the most conscientious of translators.

Yesterday I received the proofs of the first 2 sheets of my book on “Insectivorous Plants”. The M.S is so large, that Murray has decided to publish in the autumn “The Habits & Movements of Climbing Plants”, as a separate little book.— You will have to consider whether the Insectivorous Plants is worth translating; I hope so; as soon as some dozen or two dozen sheets are ready, I will send them to you.—3

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Huxley has just been here: he starts at end of this month to Edinburgh to fill your place.4 I was extremely sorry to hear that your health has been worse.

I have not lectured; I wish I had the strength; & know not to what you refer.—5


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 17 April 1875.
Carus was translating CD’s Journal of researches (1860) (Carus trans. 1875b; see letter from J. V. Carus, 17 April 1875).
John Murray published Insectivorous plants in July 1875 and Climbing plants 2d ed. in November 1875 (Publishers’ circular 1875). Carus made German translations of both works (Carus trans. 1876a and 1876b).
Thomas Henry Huxley visited Down on 17 April 1875 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). He had been commissioned to give lectures at the University of Edinburgh in place of Charles Wyville Thomson, who was on the oceanographic survey ship HMS Challenger. Carus had given these lectures in the summers of 1873 and 1874 (see letter to J. V. Carus, 7 February 1875 and n. 8).


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

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

Journal of researches (1860): Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle around the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. By Charles Darwin. Reprint edition. London: John Murray. 1860.


Pleased JVC likes Journal of researches. Responds to his queries and thanks him for conscientiousness as a translator.

Insectivorous plants is so large that Murray will publish Climbing plants as a separate little book. Hopes Insectivorous plants is worth translating.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9940,” accessed on 1 October 2023,

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