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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Michael Foster   6 June [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

June 6th

My dear Sir

I have read your little essay with the greatest interest, & I thank you cordially for having taken such extraordinary trouble to oblige me.2

It tells me exactly what I especially wanted to know, & what I cd not find out in any of the books which I possessed, namely, how far our knowledge at present extended, & where we were ignorant. I have not at present any thing more to ask, but yr kindness makes me think that if I have strong reason, you will allow me to trouble you once again. If you have spare time & shd feel inclined to come & sleep here on a Sunday night, I shall be delighted to see you; but I am bound to mention that I suffer from a strange state of weak health; which prevents me from talking long with any one, & I am liable to have bad days when I can hardly converse at all. I hope, in a week or two, that some of my sons will be at home, & then the house wd not be so dull for you—3

With sincere thanks believe me | yours very truly | Charles Darwin

P.S. If you are able to come please do let me know, & I will inform you of the best route.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Michael Foster, 4 June [1871].
No record of Foster’s visiting has been found.


Comments on MF’s "little essay" [see 7800].

Invites him to visit.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Michael Foster
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.419)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7803,” accessed on 11 December 2019,

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