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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Thomas Maston   5 February 1879

11 Jennetts Crescent | Westgate | Otley | Near Leeds


Dear Sir/

I hope you will not think me to bould in taking upon myself to write to you, beging of you a favour.

I am a stone Mason, and about 2 years ago I bought two of your works the “Origin of Species”, and the “Descent of Man” and I have read them, and studied them the most of this time, and strugled, in my humble way, to defend the theory tharein enunciated, against that un-holy cant, which as been risen against it by a certain class of desprate theological thinkers in the hope of provoking ignorant laughter, to shame honest men into silence on this subject, chosing in this way to show their weakness, and to exibite the truth strength of your concloustions.

I should like your later work ie., the “Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals”, but through slack trade for this last 2 years, and this most sevear winter it is out of my reach now.1

I should be very thankfull for any help you can give me,

hoping will not forget me | I am Yours most | respectfully | Thomas Maston

Mr. Charles Darwin, | M.A., F.R.S.


Origin 6th ed. (first published in 1872) and Descent 2d ed. (published in 1874 in a single volume) were cheaper than previous editions, selling at 7s. 6d. and 9s., respectively. Expression was still in its first edition, priced at 12s. (Correspondence vol. 22, letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874, and Freeman 1977).


Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


A stonemason who has read Origin and Descent and defends CD’s theory against theological prejudice, would like to read CD’s other books but is too poor to afford them.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Maston
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 171: 88
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11859,” accessed on 14 April 2024,