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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Mary Somerville   30 October 1866

La Spezia Piemonte

30th Octr 1866

Dear Mr Darwin

I beg of you to accept my very sincere thanks for your kindness in granting me permission to make use of the illustrations in your admirable work on the Orchids,1 which I have taken the liberty to refer to very extensively in a sketch on the present state of microscopic science which I have just finished2

Believe me | very gratefully yours | Mary Somerville


Somerville refers to Orchids. In a letter to M. E. Lyell, [19? October 1866], CD had indicated his approval of Somerville’s request, but pointed out that permission to use the illustrations had to be obtained from the publisher John Murray, who owned the woodcuts.
The reference is to Somerville 1869 (see letter to M. E. Lyell, [19? October 1866] and n. 2).


Somerville, Mary. 1869. On molecular and microscopic science. 2 vols. London: John Murray.


Thanks CD for permission to use illustrations from Orchids in her work [On molecular and microscopic science (1869)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Mary Fairfax/Mary Greig/Mary Somerville
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
La Spezia Piemonte
Source of text
DAR 177: 217
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5259,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14