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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Turner   24 [December 1866]1

Down, Bromley, Kent.


My dear Sir,

I have been working so hard to get a certain job done that I have neglected to thank you sooner for your note of Dec 15th., which contained much of the very information which I wanted—2 If hereafter you can give me any more information about rudimentary parts in man, & allow me to quote you, I shall be truly obliged—

I have received your paper on the gestation of Arius but have not yet read it from same reason that has made me delay thanking you; but I have now got it out & will read it this evening, for I can see that the subject is a very curious one—3

With cordial thanks | Believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The month and year are established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to William Turner, 14 December [1866].
The letter from Turner has not been found, but see the letter to William Turner, 14 December [1866] and n. 7. CD had been working on his manuscript of Variation (see CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 14, Appendix II)).
Turner had sent CD a copy of a paper ‘On a remarkable mode of gestation in an undescribed species of Arius (A. Boakeii)’ (Turner 1866). CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Turner described how the male Arius boakeii (now A. arius, the threadfin sea catfish) incubated eggs in its mouth (Turner 1866b, p. 79). CD referred to the phenomenon and cited Turner’s paper in Descent 1: 210.


Thanks WT for information about rudimentary parts in man.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Turner
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 148: 152
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5323,” accessed on 21 August 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14