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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Karl von Scherzer   24 January [1876]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

Jan. 24th

Dear Sir

I thank you for your very kind letter which I value much as coming from you who have done such excellent scientific work.—2 Also pray accept my thanks for the gift of your book on Smyrna, & for sending me the Vienna newspaper with its too generous appreciation of my character.3

I shall be in London in the Spring & I will then find out where the Austro-Hungarian Consulate is, & do myself the pleasure & honour of calling on you.—4 My health is weak & there is no direct railway from here to Norwood5 & the drive by the road is a long one; otherwise I wd. have called on you there. For this same reason I cannot venture to ask you to come here some day to luncheon, which would give me much pleasure, although I am not able to converse with anyone for more than a rather short time.

With my respect & best thanks, I remain | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the date of the inscription in CD’s copy of Scherzer 1873 (see n. 3, below).
Scherzer’s letter has not been found; CD had referred in Descent 1: 216 to population data gathered by Scherzer during the voyage of the Novara.
CD’s copy of Scherzer 1873, inscribed by the author and dated 21 January 1876, is in the Darwin Library–Down; Scherzer had been Austrian consul in Smyrna (now Izmir), Turkey, before being transferred to London in July 1875 (Morning Post, 8 July 1875, p. 2). The Viennese newspaper has not been found.
No record has been found of a visit by CD to the Austrian Consulate.
Norwood, Surrey, is a southern suburb of London.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Novara expedition. 1861–75. Reise der österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859 unter den Befehlen des Commodore B. von Wüllerstorf-Urbair. 9 vols. in 19. Vienna: Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei.

Scherzer, Karl von. 1873. La province de Smyrne: considérée au point de vue géographique, économique et intellectuel. Vienna: Alfred Hölder.


Thanks for KHvS’s book [La province de Smyrne (1873)].

Discusses possible meeting.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Karl von Scherzer
Sent from
Source of text
John Hay Library, Brown University (Albert E. Lownes Manuscript Collection, Ms. 84.2 (Box 3, Folder 38))
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10364,” accessed on 19 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24