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Letter 7356

Darwin, C. R. to Sclater, P. L.

4 Nov [1870]

Summary

Asks PLS whether he will look over list of names of birds [for Descent] to make sure they are spelled correctly. “I have a most unfortunate weakness … to copy proper names incorrectly”.

Transcription

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 4th

My dear Mr Sclater

I am going to beg a favour of you which will cost you little troubleproportionally to the great service it will be to me.— I have amost unfortunate weakness, though I strive against it, to copy propernames incorrectly. In my present book on sexual difference I have togive a host of names of Birds.f2 Will you run your eye over the enclosedlist & see that names are spelt rightly?— I enclose envelope addressedto save you as much trouble as possible.— You can return the listwithout a word; except indeed, if you will add that I may sendanother list for another one or two chapters.—f3 I have checked allnames occurring in books which I possess (except one or two just nowmislaid) but I have not Jerdon or the Ibis from which many names are taken.f4

I hope & think this will not cause you much trouble.

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Zoological Society of London

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Footnotes

f1
The year is established by the relationship between this letter andthe letter to P. L. Sclater, 5 December 1870.
f2
CD refers to Descent; the chapters on birds are in Descent 2:36–238. CD thanked Sclater for his help in Descent 2: 238 n. 59.
f3
Sclater also checked the two chapters on mammals (Descent 2:239–315).
f4
CD refers to Thomas Claverhill Jerdon’s Birds of India (Jerdon1862–4), and to Ibis, the journal of the BritishOrnithologists’ Union.
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