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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lovegrove   9 July [1861?]1


July 9th

My dear Sir

I thank you sincerely for the trouble which you have so kindly taken for me.—2 I am sorry not to have the pedigree of your pretty pony: but the information sent will be very useful to me, more especially as it confirms what I heard from Norway, and did not know whether fully to believe.—3

With my best thanks, Believe me My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


The year is suggested by the 1860 watermark of the stationery and by the relationship of the letter to others written in 1861 (see n. 3, below). However, CD was not at Down House in July 1861: the family was visiting Torquay (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).
It is possible that Charles Lovegrove was the individual who provided CD information mentioned in Variation 1: 58: ‘I have heard of a cob imported from Norway which had the shoulder as well as the other stripes well developed.’ Lovegrove was the owner of Petley House in Down village (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1862).
CD had written to several people in 1857 to inquire about the striping of native ponies of Norway (see Correspondence vol. 6, especially letters to the Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 13 June 1857], and to J. D. Hooker, 22 August [1857]). He had recently initiated a further search for information on this point in the Field (see letters to the Field, [before 27 April 1861], [before 25 May 1861], and [before 15 June 1861]). For the discussion of striping on the legs and shoulders of dun-coloured ponies as an indication of the colouring of the aboriginal horse, see Variation 1: 55–61.


Regrets he does not have pedigree of CL’s "pretty pony", but assures him information was very useful, "more especially as it confirms what I heard from Norway & did not know whether fully to believe".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lovegrove
Sent from
Source of text
Barton L. Smith
Physical description
** 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13823,” accessed on 20 June 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9