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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Owen   [January – 23 March 1850]1

Down Farnborough Kent


My dear Owen

I am very much obliged, but am sorry, that you should have had the trouble about Ehrenbergs parcel— I enclose stamps which will I hope be convenient mode of payment to you.—

Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin

I am in the middle of the “Limbs” with uncommon interest—2 The manner in which you work out the toes strikes me as quite beautiful. Whoever would have thought that a great Cart-horse walked on four fingers!—

I read also with great interest some little time ago your kind present of Parthenogenesis3


Dated on the basis of CD’s reference to R. Owen 1849a and 1849b, which were recorded as having been read on 23 March 1850 (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV).
R. Owen 1849a, published in February 1849 (see letter to Richard Owen, [24 February 1849], n. 5).
R. Owen 1849b, published 14–28 July 1849 (Publishers’ Circular, no. 285, 1 August 1849). The term ‘parthenogenesis’ was Owen’s invention. CD’s annotated copy of the book is in the Darwin Library– CUL.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


CD regrets the trouble RO has had about C. G. Ehrenberg’s parcel.

He is reading On the nature of limbs [1849] with uncommon interest and admires the way Owen worked out the toes.

Also has read On parthenogenesis [1849] with great interest.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Owen
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1231,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4