Seeks to verify whether bulldogs have degenerated in India [see Variation 1: 37–8].
CD has "sometimes gone so far as to doubt whether climate has any influence even on colour".
Down Bromley Kent
Our mutual friend D
The danger of a cross seems the obvious source of error. If you would be so kind, when at leisure, to answer this note, I should feel extremely much obliged.— I have sometimes gone so far as to doubt whether climate has any direct influence even on colour.—
Pray believe me | Dear Sir | Your's faithfully & obliged | Charles Darwin
- f1 1906.f1The correspondent is conjectured on the basis that CD cited Everest in Variation on the deterioration of European breeds in India. Everest, a keen geologist and author of papers on the geology and climate of India, was listed in the Clergy list 1855 as residing in Calcutta (see n. 3, below).
- f2 1906.f2Dated from CD's particular interest in eliciting information about domestic animals in other countries at this time (see letter to E. L. Layard, 8 June ).
- f3 1906.f3Hugh Falconer, at the time resident in England, had been superintendent of the Calcutta botanic garden and professor of botany at the Calcutta Medical College from 1848 to 1855.
- f4 1906.f4In Variation 1: 36 n. 65, CD cited William Youatt 1845, p. 15, and ‘The veterinary’ (The Veterinarian, or monthly journal of veterinarian science) 11 (1838): 235 (a mistake for p. 535) on the degeneration of dogs in India.
- f5 1906.f5CD cited Falconer on the subject of the bulldog in Variation 1: 38.
- f6 1906.f6In Variation 1: 36, CD cited Everest on Newfoundland dogs (Everest 1834, p. 19) and two pages later stated that:
The Rev. R. Everest informs me that he obtained a pair of setters, born in India, which perfectly resembled their Scotch parents: he raised several litters from them in Delhi, taking the most stringent precautions to prevent a cross, but he never succeeded, though this was only the second generation in India, in obtaining a single young dog like its parents in size or make; …