To E. W. V. Harcourt1 19 August 2
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Sir
I think you told me long ago that you had Brehm’s Book on German ornithology.3 If this be so, & you can spare it, will you be so kind as to lend it me for a fortnight.— In this case will you put on enclosed address & send it by Parcels Deliv. Coy.—
If you have it not, or cannot spare it, tear up the address & I shall understand why it does not come.—4
I want to see how far Brehm goes in splitting species.—5
I have been thinking over the many curious facts which you told me,6 & wish more than ever that you would publish a paper on the subject.—7
I took some of the little finches from Madeira to Brit Mus. & found the Goldfinch, Linnet & greenfinch rather smaller than the British specimens; but not the Blackbird,—nor, as you saw the Swift.—
I wish I had taken more for comparison.—
My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Asks to borrow C. L. Brehm’s book [Handbuch der Naturgeschichte aller Vögel Deutschlands (1831)]. Wants to see how far Brehm went in splitting species.
Took finches from Madeira to British Museum.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1451,” accessed on 10 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1451