Believes GM's reported monstrosity is not rare. Does not believe it resulted from the effect of the imagination of the mother on her offspring.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
The monstrosity of a proboscis-like prolongation of the snout occurs much more
frequently as stated by Isidore Geoffroy than with any other animal; & therefore
I presume is not rare. Should you wish to present the specimen
to the Coll. of Surgeons you had better write to enquire whether it
If you can find organic remains in the beds under the Drift in N. Wales, you will make a very interesting discovery.
Pray excuse brevity as I am far from well & believe me my dear Sir | yours sincerely. | Ch. Darwin
- f1 4853.f1Maw had written about a case of animal monstrosity in his letter of 1 June 1865. CD refers to Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and to Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1836, 3: 353. CD marked the sentence referring to pigs in his copy of the volume and also noted that a trunk was a common aberrant occurrence in pigs. CD's annotated copy is in the Darwin Library--CUL (see Marginalia 1: 312--14). CD mentioned the frequency of the occurrence of a monstrous proboscis in pigs in Variation 2: 57--8 and cited Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1836.
- f2 4853.f2William Henry Flower became curator of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1861. See also letter from George Maw, 1 June 1865, n. 5.
- f3 4853.f3See letter from George Maw, 1 June 1865 and n. 3.
- f4 4853.f4See letter from George Maw, 1 June 1865 and n. 6. In 1842, CD had visited many locations in north Wales and had written on the evidence of ancient glaciers there (`Ancient glaciers of Caernarvonshire'). In a chapter written for a scientific manual, CD had emphasised the importance of using fossil remains to determine the age of geological deposits (Herschel ed. 1851).
- f5 4853.f5Emma Darwin's diary (DAR 242) records CD's health on 4 June 1865 as `languid and uncomf all day slight sick.' See also letter to [Richard Kippist], 4 June  and n. 4.