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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-7255

To W. W. Reade   30 June [1870]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E. [6 Queen Anne Street, London]

June 30th

My dear Sir

I have to thank you for two letters: one with a specimen of the insect which protects itself with dead ants &c; but I could not detect the protected insects. I suppose that it must be a larva; the larvæ of some beetles are known to protect themselves by cases made of their own hardened excrement.—2 Your second letter, June 4th, is full of curious observations: I shall be surprised if you do not make a very interesting book with an account of your Travels & observations on your return.3

I am very glad to hear confirmed that negros admire very black negros; but I much wish that time & space had permitted you to enter in some little detail on their ideas of beauty.4 I have to touch on this point & I shall go to press in a few weeks time; but as the chapter in question is nearly my last, I do not suppose that I shall come to it in the proofs for 3 or 4 months.5 I have resolved to keep my Essay on Expression in man & animals for subsequent & separate publication.6

Thanks for fact about the hand & mouth & astonishment.7 I wrote some little time begging you to observe about Gorillas & chimpanzee strictly frowning.8

Your case of stone tools is interesting: until lately none had been found in Africa, but quite recently they are reported from S. Africa & Egypt; & now you fill up the intermediate gap.—9

With every good wish, pray believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

Footnotes

1
The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870.
2
See letter from W. W. Reade, [c. 8 or 9 April 1870].
3
See letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870. Reade published The African sketch-book in 1873 (Reade 1873).
4
See letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870 and n. 4.
5
CD sent the manuscript of Descent to the printers in August 1870 (letter to John Murray, 5 [August 1870]).
6
Expression was published in November 1872 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (DAR 158)).
7
See letters from W. W. Reade, [c. 8 or 9 April 1870] and n. 7, and 4 June 1870 and n. 14.
8
The letter in which CD asked Reade about gorillas and chimpanzees frowning has not been found. CD wrote about frowning in chimpanzees, orang-utans, and gorillas in Expression, pp. 143–4.
9
See letter from W. W. Reade, 4 June 1870 and n. 7.

Summary

Thanks WWR for information on the Nehro idea of beauty and other facts relating to expression.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-7255
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Reade, W. W.
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 96: 79–80
Physical description
( L or draft ) S 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7255,” accessed on 29 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7255

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