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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Alfred Newton   30 May [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

May 30th

My dear Prof. Newton

Very many thanks for your facts & correction. The case of the gull must come out.2 Oh Lord how difficult accuracy is! Yesterday we had a letter from Frank, groaning in spirit at the thoughts that it was his last term in Cambridge, which is dear also to me.—3

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Alfred Newton, 29 May 1871.
The reference to the gull is in a missing portion of the letter from Alfred Newton, 29 May 1871. In Descent 2: 108 n. 9, CD reported a case of apparent reasoning in a gull; this was removed in the second edition.
The letter from Francis Darwin has not been found. See letter from Alfred Newton, 29 May 1871 and n. 2.


Thanks AN for facts and corrections [for Descent].

The case of the gull must come out [Descent 2: 108 n. 9]. "Oh Lord, how difficult accuracy is!"

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Newton
Sent from
Source of text
Cambridge University Library (MS Add. 9839/1D/59)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7781,” accessed on 19 May 2019,

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