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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. L. Stokes   [c. 26 November 1846]1

Down Farnborough Kent


My dear Stokes

Many thanks for your letters, I enclosed the proper one to Sir G. Grey & this will show him, that we did not intentionally mean to insult him.— It has been a vexatious affair; for what I remember of him, I like much.— I have very little doubt that your explanation is the true one, viz that my note went in your proof-sheet to the Printers.—

I return you the S. Australian letter with thanks; I was glad to see it.—

I congratulate you heartily on the great success of your Book;2 if I were in your place, I should be prouder of having been introduced to the old Duke3 (as I heard was the case) than for a hundred pistols from Joinville,4 —extraordinary as that compliment is.

Farewell my dear Stokes


This letter must have been written after CD’s letter to George Grey, 10 November 1846. In his letter to Grey, CD did not mention the possibility that his original note went to the printer with Stokes’s proof-sheets. Neither did CD mention this explanation in his letter to Robert FitzRoy, 23 November [1846]. Presumably CD received a letter from Stokes after 23 November to which this is his reply. The 26th is the earliest possible Thursday following the 23 November.
Stokes 1846 was reviewed in the July 1846 issues of the Foreign Quarterly Review (37: 257–80) and Fraser’s Magazine (34: 105–17).
Probably the Duke of Wellington.
François Ferdinand Philippe Louis Marie, Prince de Joinville, a French expert in military and naval affairs.


Stokes, John Lort. 1846. Discoveries in Australia. 2 vols. London: T. & W. Boone.


Discusses CD’s unintended insult to George Grey.

Compliments JLS on his book [Discoveries in Australia (1846)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lort Stokes
Sent from
Source of text
Sir Tom Ramsay (private collection)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1020,” accessed on 17 November 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3