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Letter 1839

Darwin, C. R. to Falconer, Hugh

8 Mar [1847 or 1848]


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 and 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 date is conjectured from the
CD cited Falconer’s case of ‘the Thibet mastiff and goat, [which] when brought down from the Himalaya to Kashmir, lose their fine wool’ as support for his claim that climate influences the hairy covering of animals (Variation 2: 278). He gave, however, a later article by Falconer (Falconer 1863) as his source.
CD passed through London en route to Down from Shrewsbury on Thursday 4 March 1847 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, [1 March 1847]); he may have met Falconer on that occasion. Falconer, an employee of the East India Company, had returned to England in 1842 on sick leave; he was obliged to return to India after five years in order to fulfil the conditions for his pension (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 October 1848, n. 3). In 1847, he was appointed superintendent of the Calcutta botanic garden.
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