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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Swale and Wilson1   [on or before 24 October 1849]2


Dear Sir

Will you please to send to address on other page by next Wednesday night, diag —— Footprints of a Creator (by H. Miller)3

—— Humboldts letters of a Statesman translated recently4

—— Six cards of “Patent Parryian National Pen Nor 3.: Fine Points5 ramme

NB please attend that this kind be sent.

And a packet of 100 of Newspaper covers;6 I think patented by Delafield—viz a strip of paper with a tape let in.—

Yours faithfully | C. Darwin C. Darwin Ese care of G. Snow Nag’s Head Borough.

N.B. Carrier goes on Thursday morning


The conjectured recipients, Swale and Wilson of 21 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, were publishers, general stationers, and news-vendors (Post Office London directory 1849). CD’s Account Book (Down House MS) shows payments for newspapers and books to this bookseller.
Dated from the reference to Hugh Miller’s book (Miller 1849) and from the letter to M. E. Lyell, [24 October 1849], in which CD stated he had just ordered a copy of the work for himself.
Miller 1849. CD recorded having read it on 21 November 1849 (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV). His unannotated copy is in the Darwin Library–Down.
K. W. von Humboldt 1849. CD did not record reading this work until 20 April 1852, when he noted: ‘William Humboldts letters, partly read.’ (DAR 128; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV).
A sprung-steel nib that slipped onto a wooden shaft, patented in 1830 by James Perry, a bookseller and stationer in Red Lion Yard, London.
Wrappers used for forwarding newspapers and magazines through the post.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Humboldt, Karl Wilhelm von. 1849. Thoughts and opinions of a statesman. A series of extracts from the letters of K. W. von Humboldt to Charlotte Diede. Edited by Arthur Helps. London.

Miller, Hugh. 1849. Footprints of the Creator: or, the Asterolepis of Stromness. London: Johnstone and Hunter.

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Orders books [Hugh Miller, Foot-prints of the Creator (1849)

and Carl Wilhelm von Humboldt, Thoughts and opinions of a statesman, Sir Arthur Helps, ed. (1849)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Swale and Wilson
Sent from
Source of text
W. H. Thorpe (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1263,” accessed on 17 January 2022,

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