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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   [1 November 1836]

Tuesday Evening

My dear Henslow

You will have probably received, before this letter reaches you, the box with the Galapagos plants, which also contains a longer letter. The box starts tomorrow morning by the Fly Coach.— Four boxes were also sent by Marsh’s Wagon to day.— they will reach Cambridge on Thursday morning.— The two very heavy & largest ones contain geological specimens; if it could be so arranged would it not be better to leave them in the warehouse, in such case pray see that they are so placed as not to be moved, & that they are housed dry.—

The smallest box contains spirit cases; the square one bird skins & insects. These perhaps had better be carried away into safety.—

I have just returned from dining at the Linnæan club, & attending a meeting to hear a couple of intensely stupid papers.—1 I became acquainted with Mr Bell, who, to my surprise, expressed a good deal of interest about my crustaceæ & reptiles & seems willing to work at them.— I also heard, that Mr. Broderip would be glad to look over the S. American shells.—2 So that things flourish well with me.— You have made me known amongst the botanists; but I felt very foolish, when Mr Don3 remarked on the beautiful appearance of some plant with an astoundingly long name, & asked me about its habitation. Some one else seem quite surprised that I knew nothing about a carex from 〈I〉 do not know where. I w〈as〉 at last forced to plead most intire innocence, & that I knew no more about the plants, which I had collected, than the Man in the Moon.— Pray write me a line to say how the Cambridge world is going on; & whether my boxes arrive safely.— Tell me whether you are disappointed with the Galapagos plants. I have some fears.—

Pray remember me most kindly to Mrs. Henslow.— I long to be again in Cambridge.— Believe me | Yours ever most truly obliged | Chas Darwin *S 2

43. Great Marlborough.—


‘Read [were] Observations on the Esula Major Germanica of Lobel by Edward Forster Esq. V.P.L.S., F.R.S. and a paper on the Wooraby or Curary Poison of the Indo-Americans, by Robert H. Shomburgk …’ (Minute book, Linnean Society, London, General Meeting of 1 November 1836). CD is listed as a visitor introduced by Mr Yarrell.
William John Broderip.
David Don.


Alerts JSH to boxes of specimens and letter of 30 Oct on the way by wagon.

Thomas Bell has expressed interest in CD’s Crustacea and reptiles.

CD’s ignorance about his botanical specimens embarrasses him.

Asks whether JSH is disappointed with Galapagos plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 43
EX 2 NO 2 1836
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 33 DAR/1/1/33)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 318,” accessed on 3 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1