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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin1   [8 March 1825]


My Dear Bobby,

Much obliged for yr letter, & lest I should forget as I did before, you may take Hunter2 or any other book you choose. If you wont be very angry I will send you once more into the plate-closet to hunt out some books, which you may send to me per Van carefully wrapt up. 1st. any or all of Cullen’s Works, if they do not come to many vols, but at all events his Nosology & Practice of Physick.3 2nd ye 1st vol 4to of Haller’s Physiologia4 wh. you will find in ye top shelf, 3rdly any small work you can find of 1 or 2 vol 8vo on Physiology,5 & 4thly ye Mss catalogue of Books, in order that I may avoid procuring duplicates of any works, & 5thly if ye packet does not look very large send me Linnæi Systema Naturæ6 wh. is among ye books in ye Morning Room & unbound.

Apropos to Linnæus I wish you would look in ye English Systema Vegetab:7 & copy me out the specific description of Pinus sylvestris.

If the Dr should be at leizure I wish you would skim over the Mss Catalogue & see if there are any other works it would be worth while sending up.

I hope you dont object to schedule of jobs very grievously.

From whom did you hear about the rabbits foot, as your account was the first I heard about it?

Next week I am going to dine with Prof. Haviland8 when I shall probably pick up something or other, about Edinborough, wh. I will let you know.

The next time you go home please to let them know that I an alive & well, ye very same morning I received just such a letter from Susan, & I verily believe that I wrote last in both cases. I shall at all events be giving ye Dr a practical proof shortly that I am alive by sending for some money. Touching wh. The glass Bill has not been paid, try if you can to find the bill in my chest of drawers & have it done. The man’s name is Johnson or Bery or both, I forget wh.

Good Bye give my love to Doctrss. P.9 & tell her she must not have Spark | E Darwin


The letter was originally addressed to ‘C. Darwin Esq., Dr. Butlers, Shrewsbury’. This was changed in a different hand and ink to read ‘Gas Darwin Esq.’. ‘Gas’ was the nickname given to CD by his schoolmates because of his chemistry work with Erasmus (see Autobiography, p. 46).
Probably a reference to a work by either William Hunter, anatomist, or his brother, John Hunter, surgeon and anatomist. A copy of J. Hunter 1778 is in Darwin Library–Down.
Above ‘Physiology’ is written ‘Golias’ in another hand, possibly CD’s. ‘Golias’ has not been identified.
Linnaeus 1789–96 (Darwin Library–Down).
John Haviland, Regius Professor of Medicine.
Their eldest sister, Marianne, had married Henry Parker, M.D. in November 1824.


Autobiography: The autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809–1882. With original omissions restored. Edited with appendix and notes by Nora Barlow. London: Collins. 1958.

Cullen, William. 1776–84. First lines of the practice of physic. 4 vols. Edinburgh.

Cullen, William. 1814. Synopsis nosologiae methodicae. Auctore G. Cullen. To which is added an appendix containing a synopsis of the systems of Sauvages, Linnaeus, Vogel . . . and a translation of Cullen’s Nosology … by John Thomson. Edinburgh.

Haller, Albrecht von. 1757–66. Elementa physiologiae corporis humani. 8 vols. Lausanne.

Hunter, John. 1778. The natural history of the human teeth. 2d ed. London.

Linnaeus, Carolus (Carl von Linné). 1783b. A system of vegetables … with their character and differences, translated from the thirteenth edition … of the Systema vegetabilium … and from the Supplementum plantarum … by a botanical society at Lichfield. 2 vols. Lichfield and London.

Linnaeus, Carolus (Carl von Linné). 1789–96. Caroli Linnaeai … Systema naturaea, sive regna tria naturaea systematice proposita per classes, ordines, genera, et species. 13th ed. by J. F. Gmelin. (Bound in 10 vols.) Lyons.


Asks CD to send him some books on physiology and natural history from the family library.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
MR 8 1825
Source of text
DAR 204: 12
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 14,” accessed on 29 May 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1