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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   18 November 1867

Cambridge Mass,

Nov. 18, 1867

My Dear Darwin

I was rejoiced by your favor of Oct. 16, and the sheets of the new book up to p. 336 (sign Y)1 Thus far I have read only dogs & cats 2—but expect soon to have some hours in a rail-way carriage— then, if not before, I shall read it up. I do not care to read it in driblets, bit by bit. But I shall be all ready for the treat you promise me in vol. 2nd,—“semi-theology” and all.3

Thanks for the facts about locusts’ dung,—which I read to Wyman.4 We hope you mean to print it.5

No time to write more now.—

Ever Your | A. Gray


CD had sent proof-sheets of most of the first volume of Variation to Gray with his letter of 16 October [1867]. Signature Y was pages 321 to 336 of the first volume.
The first chapter of Variation is ‘Domestic dogs and cats’ (Variation 1: 15–48).
In his letter to Gray, 16 October [1867], CD wrote that Variation ended with a ‘semi-theological paragraph’ in which he quoted and disagreed with Gray. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 February [1867], n. 7.
See letter to Asa Gray, 16 October [1867] and n. 9. Gray refers to Jeffries Wyman.
The information about the germination of grass seeds taken from the locust dung was added to Origin 5th ed., p. 439.


Origin 5th ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 5th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1869.

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


Is reading sheets of Variation.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Cambridge, Mass.
Source of text
DAR 165: 159
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5682,” accessed on 18 September 2021,

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