skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Erasmus Alvey Darwin   [April – May? 1862]1

Dear Charles

Will you send me an order to buy your photograph at Polyblank. for Mr Tait.2

Polyblank says that for some he has a general order to sell & for others he requires special permission so I should think you might as well give a general order as it is a good photograph.

I hav’nt seen any of your world but I dare say I shall at the great Ex.3

ever yours | E. D


The date range is conjectured from the reference to the International Exhibition (see n. 3, below).
The reference may be to the painter Robert Tait, who was Erasmus’s near neighbour in Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square, London (Post Office London directory 1861). Tait was associated with Erasmus’s circle of friends, and had a keen interest in photography (see Bliss ed. 1953, pp. 322–3). George Henry Polyblank, in partnership with Henry Maull, was the proprietor of one of the leading photographic studios in London, Maull & Polyblank, located at 187a Piccadilly and 55 Gracechurch Street (Pritchard 1986). The photograph referred to may be that taken by Maull & Polyblank circa 1857 (see frontispiece to Correspondence vol. 8; the copy reproduced there is taken from a print prepared by Maull & Fox from the original negative).
The 1862 International Exhibition opened in South Kensington, London, on 1 May (The Times, 2 May 1862, p. 11).


Asks for an order to buy a CD photograph for Mr Tait.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105 (ser. 2): 9–10
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3745,” accessed on 25 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10