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Darwin Correspondence Project

To ?   20 June [1861–8]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

June 20th

Dear Sir

As it will save you trouble of referring I send by this post a spare copy of the paper about which you enquire.— Permit me to remark that it was never in remote degree intended for publication & was written many years ago. I had no connection with the publication of these extracts beyond giving my permission.—2

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin

Mr. Wallace’s paper seems to me excellent.—


The date range is established by the printed stationery, which is a type that CD used between May 1861 and April 1869.
The paper referred to is probably CD’s part of the Darwin–Alfred Russel Wallace papers read to the Linnean Society by Joseph Dalton Hooker and Charles Lyell in 1858 (C. Darwin and Wallace 1858). CD’s paper contained extracts from his 1844 manuscript essay on species (see Foundations) and from the letter to Asa Gray, 5 September [1857] (Correspondence vol. 6); a footnote explained that the manuscript essay was not intended for publication and so was not written with care.


Sends a copy of the paper [with A. R. Wallace, "On the tendency of species to form varieties" (1858), Collected papers 2: 3–19] about which his correspondent asked; CD’s parts were written years ago and not intended for publication; he gave permission for publication of the extracts. Wallace’s paper seems to him excellent.

Letter details

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

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13879,” accessed on 1 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18 (Supplement)