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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Graham   5 August 1881

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

Aug. 5, 1881.

Dear Sir

I thank you for your long and interesting letter.1 I am not a quick thinker or a good talker, and you would learn nothing from me on the many important subjects which you have discussed. Moreover I labour under a great disadvantage (the effects of many years ill-health.) that I am not able to talk long with any one. It would therefore by no means be worth your while to come all this distance to see me for an hour. I should, however, much regret not to make your personal acquaintance, and as I am sure to be in London in the autumn, I will then ask you to lunch with me, should this plan prove convenient to you.2

I hope that your book may be largely read, but it is very difficult to get a hearing, so tremendous is the rush of new ideas and of new work of all sorts.3

I remain Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Charles Darwin.


See letter from William Graham, [before 5 August 1881]; only a copied extract from Graham’s letter is extant.
CD probably did not visit London until 13 December 1881 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)); there is no record of a visit by Graham.
For CD’s comments on The creed of science (Graham 1881), see the letter to William Graham, 3 July 1881.


Graham, William. 1881. The creed of science: religious, moral, and social. London: C. Kegan Paul & Co.


Thanks him for his letter. "I am not a quick thinker or a good talker and you would learn nothing from me on the many important subjects you have discussed."

Suggests meeting in London in lieu of a visit to Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Graham
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 139.12: 8
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13276,” accessed on 26 March 2023,