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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. de C. Sowerby   11 November [1850]

Down Farnborough Kent

Nov. 11th.—

My dear Sir.

Unwellness has prevented me answering you by Return of Post.—

I like the engravings, but they certainly have, as you remark, rather a rough unfinished look.— The alterations now required are trifling, except I fear in fig. 8. (a).— I return you your drawings, as they may be useful to you, but I must see them again, when I have a corrected proof plate.

Please to observe that the Plate must be divided, by faint lines, perhaps dotted wd look best, something as I have done; I have now added the figures & letters: I presume the Plate is Nor. II.— Please carefully preserve this rough proof to be sent to me with the final proof.—

The woodcuts will do; but I want the lower part of the one returned to be cut off, as I have done but the shading must be a little fined off;, to put the type closer to the basal valves.—

Do, I earnestly beg you make rapid progress; since I wrote last, I have had a letter from Mr Fitch & he tells me he shall in a short time demand back his specimens; I suppose I have written him half-a-dozen letters of apology.—

Please to observe that I promised Mr. Fitch & others that I would take especial care of their specimens; & therefore I must desire you not to send any more specimens in parcels to me; but whenever you can tell me, that all the other Plates, (except that of Loricula, which can come last & afterwards) are ready I will at once send my servant in the tax-cart1 to your house for the Proofs & all the specimens; I will then carefully compare them here, & bring or send up the Proofs to you again.

I am sorry to give you the trouble of writing, but I must beg you to send me one line to say whether you have returned the Loricula to Mr Wetherell;2 & 2d. whether you received some six weeks ago a single minute valve—(in letter Registered) of Pollicipes gracilis, for an inside View on wood, if you could not get in a Plate.3 3d Can you not give me some rough notion when the other Plates will be done, to know it will be great assistance to me: do try & make up for the delay & annoyment I have suffered.

Your’s sincerely | C. Darwin


‘A two-wheeled (orig. springless) open cart drawn by one horse and used mainly for agricultural or trade purposes on which was charged only a reduced duty (afterwards taken off entirely)’ (OED).
‘Mr. Wetherell placed in my hands his beautiful and unique specimen of Loricula pulchella and other species’ (Fossil Cirripedia (1851): v). The specimen is figured on Tab. V. See letter to Nathaniel Thomas Wetherell, 8 [August 1850], in which CD requested permission for the specimen to be drawn by J. de C. Sowerby.


Fossil Cirripedia (1851): A monograph on the fossil Lepadidæ, or, pedunculated cirripedes of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1851.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


CD likes the engravings [for Fossil Cirripedia (Lepadidae)] but is distressed by JdeCS’s slow progress and is being pressed by owners to return their specimens.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James de Carle Sowerby
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1368,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4