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Letter 7362

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

9 Nov 1870


Thanks PLS for his generous offer to go over the part on birds [in Descent]. Does not think PLS realises that there are more than 200 pages – most of which will have nothing new for him.

W. H. Hudson’s proofs have arrived ["Letters on the ornithology of Buenos Ayres", Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. (1870): 87–9, 158–60, 332–4, 545–50, 671–3, 748–50, 798–82; (1871): 4–7, 258–62, 326–9].


Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Nov 9. 1870

My dear Mr Sclater

Your offer is most generous & wd. be an immense benefit for my book.f1But you do not know what you are offering; there are about 200 pages, of thesize of my origin, on birds. I have corrected half of them in slips, & when insheets they wd be much better for you to read, though there wd bethe great disadvantage that I cd not without strong cause, makegreat alterations. There wd be hardly any thing new to you in anypart, & you cd in most cases be able give much better illustrationsthan I have been able to do. Therefore considering every thing, unlessyou renew yr offer, I will assume that you have not time to readthrough so many pages; but in this case I will most gladly accept yr offerof correcting another list of names.

With very sincere thanks | yours very truly | Ch. Darwin

P.S. I have recd Mr Hudson’s proof sheets but have not yet hadtime to read them—f2

The only possible interest my 4 chapters on Birds cd. have for youis the collection of facts on some trifling points, all relating moreor less to sex.

Zoological Society of London



Sclater’s letter has not been found, but see the letter toP. L. Sclater, 4 November [1870]. Sclater had evidently offered tocheck the page proofs of the sections on birds in Descent, ratherthan just lists of names, as CD had suggested.
CD presumably refers to the later parts of William Henry Hudson’s lettersto the Zoological Society of London on the ornithology of Buenos Aires(Hudson 1870). See letter to P. L. Sclater, 30 August [1870].
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