To Athénaïs Michelet 23 May 1872
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
May 23 1872
I am much obliged for the honour of your interesting letter; & it will give me much pleasure to do any thing that you wish, as far as lies in my power. I wrote immediately to a gentleman who had served as one of the judges at the Crystal Palace, for the dates of the reports, & for information about any books on cats.1
I heard from him this morning that he was just starting on a journey, but that he wd write to me in a week’s time.2 As soon as I hear I will endeavour to get what you desire, & send you any publications which I can procure. I do not know of any works exclusively on the larger Feline animals; perhaps as good an account as any will be found in Brehm’s Thierleben, which I believe has been translated into French.3
I am much obliged for your information about the fertility of crossed Angora & common cats. It is not believd by physiologists that the characters of two fathers can be transmitted to one & the same individual; & experiments on plants seem to negative any such belief. But I was reading the other day a paper by Fritz Müller which seemed to render this belief in some degree probable.4
I thank you for the kind present of your book, which I shall have great pleasure in reading when I receive it.5 Possibly I may find something about the expression & gestures of cats under different emotions; & this is a subject which much interests me.
I have the honour to remain with much respect | yours faithfully | Charles Darwin
Discusses books about cats and crosses in cats. Thanks her for her book on cats.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8348,” accessed on 26 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8348