To George Maw 4 June 
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
The monstrosity of a proboscis-like prolongation of the snout occurs much more frequently as stated by Isidore Geoffroy than with any other animal; & therefore I presume is not rare.1 Should you wish to present the specimen to the Coll. of Surgeons you had better write to enquire whether it wd be acceptable, to—W. H. Flower Esq the Curator who occupies Professor Owen’s former place.2 I have attended a little to the belief of the effects of the imagination of the mother on the offspring, & must believe that the coincidence of the visit of the elephant & the birth of the monster was a simple accident.3
If you can find organic remains in the beds under the Drift in N. Wales, you will make a very interesting discovery.4
Pray excuse brevity as I am far from well5 & believe me my dear Sir | yours sincerely. | Ch. Darwin
Believes GM’s reported monstrosity is not rare. Does not believe it resulted from the effect of the imagination of the mother on her offspring.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Maw, George
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library, Maw Correspondence, 9
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4853,” accessed on 31 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4853