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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. C. Wallich   [20 March 1872]1

9. Devonshire St | Portland Place


My dear Sir

At last I have got your negative from the Heliotype Coy.—& it appears not in the least injured.—2 The manager tells me that he has succeeded in making a very good new negative. The Coy. gives me a written guarantee that no negative used in my Book shall be used for any other purpose.—3

I thank you sincerely for the use of this beautiful work of art, which, however, will make all the others on the same Plate look ugly.—

My dear Sir | yours faithfully & obliged | Ch. Darwin

I return the parcel by my servant. I go home to Down, tomorrow morning.4


The date is established by the reference to CD’s return home from his stay at 9 Devonshire Street, London (see n. 4, below).
See letter to G. C. Wallich, 24 February [1872] and nn. 2 and 3. The Heliotype Company had premises in London.
No letter has been found from the Heliotype Company regarding the use of negatives. Ernest Edwards, the inventor of the heliotype technique, is listed as works manager in 1875 and probably held this position in 1872 (photoLondon ( (accessed 17 June 2011); Prodger 2009, p. 109).
CD returned to Down on Thursday 21 March 1872 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Has received GCW’s negative from the Heliotype Co. Thanks him for the beautiful work of art which, however, will make others on the same plate look ugly. [See Expression, pl. III, fig. 2.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Charles Wallich
Sent from
London, Devonshire St, 9
Source of text
Northumberland Collections Service, Woodhorn (SANT/BEQ/4/4/55A)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8248,” accessed on 23 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20