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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Herbert Spencer   11 March [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

March 11th. [1856]

Mr. Darwin presents his compliments to Mr. Herbert Spencer, & begs leave to thank him very sincerely for his extremely kind present of the Principles of Psychology.—2 Mr. Darwin may remark, in order to show how acceptable Mr. Spencer’s present has been, that only about a fortnight since he wrote down in his list of books to be read, the name of Mr. Spencer’s work.3


Dated by reference to the publication date of Spencer 1855 (see n. 2, below).
Spencer 1855, which had been published in September 1855 (Publishers’ Circular, 1 September 1855, p. 341). The presentation volume is in the Darwin Library–CUL. It is lightly annotated, with notes by CD on the end-papers.
Spencer 1855 is not listed in the books to be read section in CD’s reading notebooks (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Spencer, Herbert. 1855. The principles of psychology. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.


Thanks for copy of HS’s Principles of psychology [1855].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Herbert Spencer
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 147: 484a
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1841,” accessed on 18 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6