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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   16 September [1877]1

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

Sept. 16th

My dear Sir

Very many thanks for the errata.2 That at p. 205 of “shortest” instead of “mid-length” is a dreadful one.

Originally I wrote “longer” & “shorter” stamens in each flower & afterwards changed to the 3 terms, of “shortest” “mid-length” & “longest”; & it is clear that I omitted to correct the heading of the table.—3

I cannot give actual measurements, though, as you say, it would have been far better: I was hurried & so was my son, & we thought relative size was alone of importance.4

I had intended (but it seems that I forgot) to send you a perfect copy, & will now write to Publisher to do so.— The book has been published a few weeks ago.—5

I am heartily glad that you are better.6 I can give a fairly good account of myself, & have been able to work pretty hard.—

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 13 September 1877.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 13 September 1877. Carus had sent corrections to Forms of flowers, which he was translating into German.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 13 September 1877 and n. 2. Carus had queried the heading of the table that was published as ‘Illegitimate Plants raised from Short-styled Parents fertilised with pollen from own-form shortest stamens’ (Forms of flowers, p. 205).
In his letter of 13 September 1877, Carus had asked for the unit of calibration of the micrometer used to measure relative diameters of pollen-grains in Forms of flowers. The measurements were made by Francis Darwin (Forms of flowers, p. 186).
Forms of flowers was published by John Murray on 9 July 1877 (Freeman 1977). Carus’s name is on CD’s presentation list for the book, but is deleted; he had been sent proof-sheets (see Appendix IV, and letter to J. V. Carus, 17 June [1877]).
Carus suffered from bronchial problems (see Correspondence vol. 24, letter from J. V. Carus, 19 March 1876 and n. 4.)


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Thanks JVC for correcting a bad blunder in Forms of flowers.

His health fairly good; has been able to work "pretty hard".

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11143,” accessed on 22 September 2021,