skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Alphonse de Candolle   11 November [1859]

Down Bromley Kent [Ilkley]

Nov. 11th.

Dear Sir

I have thought that you would permit me to send you (by Messrs Williams & Norgate Booksellers) a copy of my work (as yet only an abstract) on the Origin of Species. I wish to do this, as the only though quite inadequate manner by which I can testify to you, the extreme interest which I have felt, & the great advantage, which I have derived, from studying your grand & noble work on Geographical Distribution.1 Should you be induced to read my volume, I venture to remark that it will be intelligible only by reading the whole straight through, as it is very much condensed. It would be a high gratification to me, if any portion interested you.— But I am perfectly well aware, that you will entirely disagree with the conclusion, at which I have arrived.

You will probably have quite forgotten me; but many years ago you did me the honour of dining at my house in London to meet M. & Mad. Sismondi,—the uncle & aunt of my wife.—2

With sincere respect, I beg leave to remain— | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


A. de Candolle 1855. For CD’s comments on this work, see Correspondence vol. 5. CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL.
The dinner took place in 1839 in CD’s home in Gower Street, London (see Correspondence vol. 2, letter to Alphonse de Candolle, 25 May [1839]). The guests included Jean Charles Léonard Simonde de Sismondi, his wife Jessie (Emma Darwin’s aunt), and John Stevens Henslow.


Candolle, Alphonse de. 1855. Géographie botanique raisonnée ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle. 2 vols. Paris: Victor Mason. Geneva: J. Kessmann.

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


Sends Origin as testimony to great benefit CD derived from AdeC’s works on distribution.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alphonse de Candolle
Sent from
Ilkley Down letterhead
Source of text
Archives de la famille de Candolle (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2523,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7