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Darwin Correspondence Project

To S. P. Woodward   18 July 1856

Down. | Farnborough Kent.1

July 18th (1856.)

My dear Sir

Very many thanks for your kindness in writing to me at such length,2 and I am glad to say for your sake that I do not see that I shall have to beg any further favours.

What a range & what a variability in the Cyrena! Your list of the ranges of the Land & F. W. Shells, certainly is most striking & curious; & especially as the Antiquity of four of them is so clearly shewn.3

I have got Harveys sea-side book, & liked it; but I was not particularly struck with it but I will reread the 1st. & last chapter.

I am growing as bad as the worst4 about species & hardly have a vestige of belief in the permanence of species left in me, & this5 confession will make you think very lightly of me; but I cannot help it, such has become my honest conviction though the difficulties & arguments against such heresy are certainly most weighty.

Yours very sincerely | Ch Darwin.


After October 1855, CD’s postal address was usually given as Bromley, but Farnborough was occasionally used.
Letters from S. P. Woodward, 15 July 1856 and [15 July 1856].
In the copy of this letter, Francis Darwin substituted ‘worst’ for the copyist’s ‘rest’.
Francis Darwin here substituted ‘this’ for the copyist’s ‘the’.


Thanks for information about variability in shells.

Comments on Harvey’s Seaside book [1849].

"I am growing as bad as the worst about species and hardly have a vestige of belief in the permanence of species left in me".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 148: 378
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1931,” accessed on 20 May 2024,

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