skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. S. Dallas   8 November [1867]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 8th

My dear Sir

On reflection I fear you will find it endless labour to give all author’s names in notes.2 So use your own discretion; anyhow most ought to be introduced. You might omit the word “note” in the index,3 as the searcher has only one page to search; & even a word omitted in index is a gain.— When I had strength & made my own index, I used to give every author’s name, but added only 2 or 3 words on the subject on which he treated or species or genus treated of by him; but then I never had such an index to make as this ought to be.4 But as I said before kindly use your discretion & make a good Index.—

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. S. Dallas, 4 November 1867.
CD’s earlier letter commenting on the index to Variation, which Dallas was preparing, has not been found, but see the letter from W. S. Dallas, 4 November 1867).
Subjects in footnotes and main text are indexed without differentiation in Variation.
A series of brief descriptive entries appears after each personal name in the index of Variation; sometimes names mentioned in the text are not included in the index.


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


Suggestions on listing authors in the index [for Variation].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Sweetland Dallas
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5671,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

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