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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. S. Dallas   20 November 1867

Yorkshire Philosophical Society | York

20 Nov. 1867

My dear Sir

Except in the two or three earlier chapters of your book I have adopted your plan of giving every author’s name,—the others I must fill in before completion.—1 It makes the labour very great, however, & I cannot get on so quickly as I could wish.—2

Instead of 6 sheets per noctem 3 upon which I calculated, I can only get through 3 or at most 4— Still I hope to finish Vol. I. tomorrow night, & I have now up to page 192 of Vol. 2 in rough impressions.— I shall press on as fast as I can, but the work cannot be done quickly & well, as its very nature requires that much consideration should be given to almost every paragraph.—

Believe me | Your’s very truly | W. S. Dallas.

The proofs can be managed in any way most convenient to you.—

Chas. Darwin Esq.


On the inclusion of authors’ names in the index of Variation, see the letter to W. S. Dallas, 8 November [1867], and the letter from W. S. Dallas, 10 November 1867.
In his letter of 4 November 1867, Dallas had expressed the hope that he would finish the index ‘in a fortnight’.
Per noctem: per night (Latin). Dallas was curator of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society’s museum (Modern English biography); he also worked for the Zoological Record (letter from W. S. Dallas, 4 November 1867 and n. 3).


Modern English biography: Modern English biography, containing many thousand concise memoirs of persons who have died since the year 1850. By Frederick Boase. 3 vols. and supplement (3 vols.). Truro, Cornwall: the author. 1892–1921.

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


Has adopted CD’s plan of giving every author’s name in index [of Variation], but it causes delay.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Sweetland Dallas
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Yorks. Philos. Soc., York
Source of text
DAR 162: 4
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5689,” accessed on 20 January 2022,

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