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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   24 April 1876

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

Ap 24. 76

My dear Sir

You are the most wonderful man for accuracy, & I for blundering.— I wrote to R. Geographical Socy. & I enclose titles which answer 4 of your questions.1

All the cases in which I refer to charts on a large scale &c no doubt refer to originals which I had before me when I wrote.2

There are only a few other points to mention, but let me thank you sincerely for so many errata.

p. 219 l. 10 for B de Candelaria, no doubt read R. (Recif) de Candelaria.3

p. 233 l.5 for this island read as you say “these islands.”4

p. 239 last l. for northern end of Palawan read southern.5

N.B p. 212 add to end of account of Rotoumah.

“Dr. L. Forbes says (Two years in Fiji 1875 p. 229) that there is an extinct crater on this island.”6

It is very true every copy of Volcanic Isd & S. America was sold. I am having London searched for second-hand copies. I think I gave my Brother copies, & as he won’t care about them I have asked him (if he has them) to send them to you by Post.7

Smith & Elder now wish to bring out a new Edit. of the 2 vols, in England; but this will make no difference to you, as I am firmly resolved not even to look at a single proof.—8

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Carus was translating Coral reefs 2d ed. into German (Carus trans. 1876a), and sent his comments on the text in his letter of 16 April 1876. The answers to Carus’s four questions have not been found, but for CD’s letter to the Royal Geographical Society, see the letter to H. W. Bates, 20 April [1876].
Litton Forbes and L. Forbes 1875. A German translation of the sentence was added to Carus trans. 1876a, p. 164. A footnote was added to Coral reefs 3d ed., p. 216 n. 1: ‘“There is an extinct volcano on the island.”—Note written in Mr. Darwin’s copy of this work’, but the reference was not given.
Carus wanted copies of Volcanic islands and South America to translate them into German; see letter from J. V. Carus, 16 April 1876. CD stayed at the house of his brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin, in London from 27 April until 3 May 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). He obtained copies of the books from Joseph Dalton Hooker; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 April 1876.


Coral reefs 2d ed.: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. By Charles Darwin. Revised edition. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1874.

Coral reefs 3d ed.: The structure and distribution of coral reefs, with an appendix by Prof. T. G. Bonney. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1889.

Forbes, Litton. 1875. Two years in Fiji. London: Longmans, Green and Co.

South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.

Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1844.


Answers queries concerning errata in Coral reefs.

All copies of Volcanic islands are sold. Smith, Elder & Co. want to bring out a new edition, but CD is resolved not to look at a single proof.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10468,” accessed on 7 June 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24