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Letter 1839

Darwin, C. R. to Falconer, Hugh

8 Mar [1845?]


Has written down what he gathered from HF on Tibetan dogs. Would welcome a few more details at any time, as he knows of nothing parallel to it.


Down Bromley Kent

March. 8th

My dear Falconer

I have written down what I gathered from you on Thibet Dogs; and if at any time you could add a few details, the case probably would be a very valuable & interesting one for me, as I know of nothing parallel to it.—f2

Yours most sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I enjoy so much a chat with you, that you will be sure to see me, when next in London.—f3

Raab Collection (dealer) (2 October 2013)



The year is conjectured from the relationship between this letter and the letter to Hugh Falconer [December? 1844] (see n. 2, below). A copy of this letter in DAR 144: 19 was published in Correspondence vol. 6 with the date 8 March [1857]. The original letter later appeared in a Raub Collection catalogue; there are no significant alterations to the text, but the footnotes have been rewritten.
CD’s notes have not been identified. Falconer had travelled in Tibet in 1837 and 1838, and lent CD his manuscript account of the expedition (see this volume, Supplement, letter to Hugh Falconer, [December? 1844] and n. 2). He later published the observation that the Tibet mastiff and goat lost their fine wool when brought down from the Himalaya to Kashmir (Falconer 1863a, p. 113); CD cited this article as support for his claim that climate influenced the hairy covering of animals (Variation 2: 278).
CD had a conversation with Falconer in late 1844 (see this volume, Supplement, letter to Hugh Falconer, [December? 1844]). See also Correspondence vol. 3, letter to Adolf von Morlot, 28 November [1844] and n. 6. Falconer was an employee of the East India Company but had returned to England in 1842 on sick leave; he was obliged to return to India on 20 December 1847 in order to fulfil the conditions for his pension (see Murchison 1868, 1: xxxix).
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