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Darwin Correspondence Project

From James Anderson   [after 24 February 1871?]1

36 Alfred Street | Bedford Square

Monday morning.

dear Sir

I know that your recent work is receiving the best attention of Sir Henry Holland, & I now have the honor & pleasure of enclosing two volumes for your consideration & acceptance, which I know will interest an author, possessed of such originality of thought & industry in Science as yourself.2

The two volumes now enclosed are devoted—the one to animals, & the other to Human Beings:—but two more are to follow, detailing the chemical, medical & general treatment of Industrial Insects (including of course, the silk worm) & extending to the entire circle of the vegetable Kingdom.—3

The theory & practice, modified according to special objects & attendant circumstances—applies to the entire circle of animated nature & has been found to operate successfully in preserving the whole in a state of health & vigour on every occasion & in every instance, where the instructions have been carried out to the letter—provided prolonged neglect of the means may not have resulted in such advanced & irremediable decay & exhaustion as to render any attempt at preventative or curative treatment utterly hopeless—

Your present correspondent was the friend of the late John Waller & Times Contributor;—the friend also of the late Lord Campbell, Lord Brougham &. &. &.4 & contributor to many Journals &. &. &. at home & on the continents of Europe & America;—not to talk of authorship.

When the remaining two volumes are published, they shall be sent to you.—

I trust to hear you have received those now sent in safety.—

I have the honor & pleasure to be | dear Sir | Your very faithful & most obedt. & humble servant | James Anderson.—

To | Professor EA. Darwin &.&.&. | 6 Queen Anne St. | W.5

I have aided my friend Mr. Hibbert in the preparation of the four volumes.— | JA.


The date is based on the conjecture that this letter was inspired by the publication of Descent on 24 February 1871 (Freeman 1977), and from the publication dates of Hibbert 1870a and 1870b (see n. 2, below). James Anderson has not been further identified. Thirty-six Alfred Street, London, was a lodging house (Post Office London directory 1870).
Presumably Anderson refers to Hibbert 1870a and 1870b, two versions of William Hibbert’s New theory and practice of medicine; Hibbert 1870a relates to animals. Holland’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for Descent (see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix IV; see also letter from Henry Holland, 19 February [1871]).
The two later volumes seem not to have been published.
John Waller has not been identified. A Fleet-Street bookseller of that name died in 1869 (Modern English biography). A John Waller, secretary of the Home Cattle Defence Association, wrote letters to The Times about cattle disease between 22 August 1870 and 17 September 1872. Anderson presumably also refers to John Campbell, and either the late Henry Peter Brougham or his brother William Brougham.
Anderson was confusing CD and his brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin.


Sends two books detailing a new medical method that will produce "a state of health & vigour on every occasion & in every instance" and is applicable to "the entire circle of animated nature" [William Hibbert, Important discovery. Hibbert’s new theory and practice of medicine (1870) and The new theory and practice of medicine (1870)]. The volumes apply to animals and man. Subsequent books will detail the method for insects and plants.

[Letter erroneously addressed to E. A. Darwin, and forwarded by EAD to CD.]

Letter details

Letter no.
James Anderson
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Alfred St, 36
Source of text
DAR 159: 72
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7407,” accessed on 21 May 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19