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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Albert Günther   3 October [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Oct 3d

My dear Dr. Günther

I thank you truly for all the great trouble which you have taken for me with so much kindness.— All your answers, except about the ears of the Mus, are amply sufficient & most useful to me.—2 By chance I knew about the mice, on the old authority of Prof. Henslow, & it was to illustrate this very point that I wanted to know about other Rodents!!3

Very many thanks for answers about the Galaxias &c.—

I am certain I read quite lately in some good Journal about the ears of Mus, & I said to myself the author (I think a German) seems quite worthy of trust.4 Would it be asking too great a favour to beg you just to mention the case to any naturalists whom you may come across?—

I send another copy (I have plenty) of Chauncey Wright: he is not a naturalist, but an esteemed mathematician, & reasoner (& I believe metaphysician).— I republished his essay, though ill-expressed, as I wished to show that Mr. Mivart does not in my opinion, & as I now find in the opinion of some others, state the case fairly against me.5 There are, as it seems to me many clever remarks in Wrights essay.

Once again let me thank you for your information & for your very kind note— What a wonderfully interesting creature you have proved the Ceratodus to be.— The paddles interest me particularly. The light thrown on the classification of Fishes seems all-important.—6

Yours most truly | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Albert Günther, 1 October 1871.
CD refers to John Stevens Henslow. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 July [1871] and n. 6.
CD was probably recalling an abstract of an article by Josef Schöbl (Schöbl 1871) in Nature; see letter from Albert Günther, 1 October 1871 and n. 6.
See letter from Albert Günther, 1 October 1871 and n. 2. CD refers to Wright 1871a and 1871b, and to St George Jackson Mivart.
See letter from Albert Günther, 1 October 1871 and n. 5. Günther discussed the paddles of Ceratodus and the relationship between the paddles and the fins of other fish in Günther 1871a, pp. 531–5.


Thanks AG for answer about Galaxias.

Asks him to mention questions about the ears of Mus to other naturalists.

Will send another copy of Chauncey Wright’s pamphlet [Darwinism (1871)].

AG has proved Ceratodus to be a "wonderfully interesting creature" ["Descripton of Ceratodus", Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 161 (1871): 511–72].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Albrecht Carl Ludwig Gotthilf (Albert) Günther
Sent from
Source of text
Shrewsbury School (15)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7983,” accessed on 26 May 2018,

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