From W. B. Tegetmeier 2 August 1866
Muswell Hill | N
My dear Sir
I enclose a letter from Mr Hewitt1 to myself with some feathers of a sebright hen that has assumed Male plumage—not the plumage of the hen feathered sebright cock but the more complete male plumage of a full feathered bird, this is rather curious I think—2 Of course she has diseased or abortive ovaria— Will you send the feathers back when you have done with them— You shall have a photo of the bird when it has moulted again, and some of the other feathers if you wish for them
I forward by this post all the proofs and hope they will meet your approbation— Shall I direct the engravers to forward the blocks to Murrays—and the Artist to send in his account also—3
Did you ever see a half bred Gallus Varius? or Eneus? with common fowl.— He was some years since in the Zoological Gardens. He was remarkable as having transverse bright blue bands on his tail coverts like a so called “cuckoo cock” I have some of the feathers if you would like to see them4
If you should have occasion to quote any points from the Poultry Book, would you kindly refer to the current edition by myself— the other was never completed and except your own numbers and one set in the B. Museum Library I do not know where a copy could be seen— I ask you this favour without wishing to disguise the fact that your mention of the work would be of great service to me.5
I am sorry to say that I am not enjoying good health—but I have too many hostages in the hands of Fortune to cease “the struggle for life”.
I trust you are enjoying good health and that we may soon be gratified with a sight of the new work.— Should you like me to look over the proofs of the poultry and pigeon chapters I should be much pleased to do so.—
Believe me My dear Sir | Very truly Yours | W B Tegetmeier
C Darwin Esq.
Pray excuse copy slips but I forgot I was writing a letter.6
Encloses feathers from a diseased hen which has assumed cock plumage.
Forwards proofs of the engravings for Variation.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5171,” accessed on 9 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5171