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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. M. Swanwick   [after 13 February 1873]1

11, Torrington Square. | W.C.

Dear Sir,

Some months ago I mentioned to you a case of apparent conscience in a cat.2 Since the peculiarities in the descendants of the mastiff Turk have been placed before the public it occurred to me that you might like to hear of other striking hereditary peculiarities.3 The same cat of which I before spoke, in its early youth, used to be very fond of running up people when they were standing and sitting on their shoulders after such exploit. This cat had two generations of kittens which showed no such peculiarity. In the present litter of four there are two which have the tendency, one of them in a very marked degree. It is now between three & four months old.

I am, dear Sir, | yours truly, | Eustace M. Swanwick.


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Nature, [before 13 February 1873] (see n. 3, below).
No earlier letter from Swanwick has been found.
See letter to Nature, [before 13 February 1873]. This letter was published in Nature, 13 February 1873, pp. 281–2.


Gives a case of peculiar behaviour in cats that apparently is inherited.

Letter details

Letter no.
Eustace Maclean Swanwick
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Torrington Square
Source of text
DAR 177: 325
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8793,” accessed on 19 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21