Letter icon
Letter 613

Darwin, C. R. to Yarrell, William

[5 or 12 Sept 1842]

    Summary Add

  • +

    CD is too dull and languid to see Mr Bicheno but will be glad to answer his questions if he writes.

  • +

    Asks WY to ask J. Sebright "whether the cross with white bantam brought back any of the ""secondary male characters"" to the hen–cock breed".


Dear Yarrell

I feel too dull & languid to see anyone to day—so will you please give my compliments to Mr Bicheno & say how sorry I feel at being compelled to forego the pleasure of being introduced to him. If he has any questions (besides those which you asked me) & will take the trouble of writing them, if it lies in my power to give him any information I shall have great pleasure in doing so.—

I enjoyed my conversation with you yesterday, but the exertion knocked me up.— Do not forget when you see Sir J. Sebright to ask him whether the cross with the white Bantam brought back any of the “secondary male characters” to the hen-cock breed.

Believe me | dear Yarrell | Yours most truly | C. Darwin
12 Upper Gower St


    Footnotes Add

  • +
    f1 613.f1
    James Ebenezer Bicheno was appointed Colonial Secretary of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in September 1842 (DNB); he probably sought information about the colony from CD.
  • +
    f2 613.f2
    Sir John Saunders Sebright. In Natural selection (p. 36) CD refers to him as ‘an acute observer … who bred all sorts of animals during his whole life, & who boasted that he could produce any feather in [three] years & any form in [six] years’. He bred the famous Sebright bantam, in which the cocks lack male plumage (EB, 22: 215).
Maximized view Print letter