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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Sweetland Dallas   4 November 1867


4 Nov. 1867

My dear Sir

I am much obliged by your kind letter of Saturday, & greatly pleased that you approve of the specimen of Index sent to you through Mr Murray.—1 I notice your objection to the long list of references under the head of “Dogs”, & will endeavour to pick out such as may be considered useful catch-lines,2—or rather I will try to strike out some other principle in the subsequent parts of the book.— The portion relating to the introduction might, I think, remain as it is, unless you positively object to it,—the excess is at all events a fault on the right side.—

You would probably notice that I did not Index all the author’s names cited in the notes, but only those whose statements are actually quoted,—will you be kind enough to let me know whether this will be satisfactory, or whether you would wish all author’s names to appear in the Index, with references to all the places in which they occur.—

I will write at once to Mr Murray to send me the remaining Sheets,—& I think, if nothing unforeseen happens to prevent me, that I ought to be able to finish everything in a fortnight.— I should have made more progress already, but my work on the Zoological Record was interrupted for several weeks by illness in the early part of the summer, & with all my efforts I have been unable to make up the lost time.—3

It will be desirable that I should read the first proofs of the Index, & equally so that you should also look over them.—

Believe me, | My dear Sir | Your’s very truly | W. S. Dallas.

C. Darwin Esqr. F.R.S.

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘One [proof] & M.S. to you, and other to me | address of Clowes4 | I sd read 2d Revises’


The letter from CD has not been found; in 1867, the Saturday before 4 November was 2 November. See also letter to John Murray, 2 November [1867]. Dallas had been engaged by John Murray to prepare the index to Variation, subject to CD’s approval of a sample (see letter from John Murray, 1 November [1867] and n. 3).
There are forty-six sub-headings under ‘Dogs’ in the index of Variation.
Between 1864 and 1868, Dallas contributed all the reports and abstracts on arachnids, myriapods, and insects published in the annual volumes of the Record of Zoological Literature (Record of Zoological Literature 6 (1870): preface). The title Zoological Record was adopted in 1870.
CD refers to William Clowes & Sons, the printers of Variation.


Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


WSD is pleased that CD approves his index draft [for Variation]; notes his objection to long list of references under "Dogs" and will try to find a principle for shortening it. He has not indexed all authors’ names; is this practice satisfactory?

Letter details

Letter no.
William Sweetland Dallas
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 162: 2
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5670,” accessed on 6 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15