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Letter 7168a

Darwin, C. R. to Thorell, T. T. T.

20 Apr 1870


Thanks TTTT for his study of European spiders [On European spiders Part 1 (1869–70)] which bases its classification system on the theory of evolution.


Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

20 April 1870

[Darwin expresses heartfelt thanks to Tord Tamerlan Teodore Thorell, a juniorprofessor of zoology at the University of Upsala, Sweden, for a copy of his OnEuropean Spiders.]f1

I have looked through it & have admired the wonderful research &labour which you have bestowed on this highly useful work. It has been a greatsatisfaction to me to observe in one or two passages, especially in anadmirable discussion on the principles of classification, that you believe inthe evolution of speciesf2

Sotheby’s, New York, 1997



There is a lightly annotated copy of Thorell’s On Europeanspiders (Thorell 1869–70) in the Darwin Library–CUL (seeMarginalia 1: 806).
CD cited Thorell 1869–70 in Descent 1: 315 n. 71. In Thorell 1869–70, p. 42 n. 1, Thorell wrote, ‘I believe with darwin,“that propinquity of descent—the only known cause of similarityof organic beings—is the bond, hidden as it is by various degreesof modification, which is partially revealed to us by ourclassifications”.’ The quotation is from Origin 4th ed., p. 489.
The original letter is complete and is described in the salecatalogue as being two pages long, and signed.
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