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Letter 7255

Darwin, C. R. to Reade, W. W.

30 June [1870]


Thanks WWR for information on the Nehro idea of beauty and other facts relating to expression.


Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E. [6 Queen Anne Street, London]

June 30th

My dear Sir

I have to thank you for two letters: one with a specimenof the insect which protects itself with dead ants &c; but I couldnot detect the protected insects. I suppose that it must be a larva;the larvæ of some beetles are known to protect themselves by casesmade of their own hardened excrement.—f2 Your second letter, June 4th,is full of curious observations: I shall be surprised if you do notmake a very interesting book with an account of your Travels &observations on your return.f3

I am very glad to hear confirmed that negros admire very black negros;but I much wish that time & space had permitted you to enter in somelittle detail on their ideas of beauty.f4 I have to touch on this point& I shall go to press in a few weeks time; but as the chapter in questionis nearly my last, I do not suppose that I shall come to it in theproofs for 3 or 4 months.f5 I have resolved to keep my Essay onExpression in man & animals for subsequent & separate publication.f6

Thanks for fact about the hand & mouth & astonishment.f7 I wrotesome little time begging you to observe about Gorillas & chimpanzeestrictly frowning.f8

Your case of stone tools is interesting: until lately none hadbeen found in Africa, but quite recently they are reported fromS. Africa & Egypt; & now you fill up the intermediate gap.—f9

With every good wish, pray believe me | My dear Sir |Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

DAR 96: 79–80



The year is established by the relationship between this letter andthe letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870.
See letter from W. W. Reade, [c. 8 or 9 April 1870].
See letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870. Reade published TheAfrican sketch-book in 1873 (Reade 1873).
See letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870 and n. 4.
CD sent the manuscript of Descent to the printers in August 1870(letter to John Murray, 5 [August 1870]).
Expression was published in November 1872 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (DAR158)).
See letters from W. W. Reade, [c. 8 or 9 April 1870] and n. 7,and 4 June 1870 and n. 14.
The letter in which CD asked Reade about gorillas and chimpanzeesfrowning has not been found. CD wrote about frowning in chimpanzees,orang-utans, and gorillas in Expression, pp. 143–4.
See letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870 and n. 7.
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