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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Leonard Jenyns   9 April [1858]1

Down Bromley Kent

Ap. 9th

My dear Jenyns

I am very much obliged for your note.— I have seen only an abstract in the Athenæum newspaper of your paper before Brit. Assoc. & shd. be very glad indeed to read the whole; that is if you will entrust it to me for a month or two.2 My health has been lately so bad, that I am in 10 days time going to a Hydropathic Establishment for a fortnights rest & treatment.3 Have you any copy of the printed abstract which you could lend me, & any notes or references I shd. be very glad to see: for although I have a very large accumulation of facts, of which I shall actually use, but a fraction, it is impossible to read & consider too many.

I have read but little more of your Meteorology, but I found in that little several things which I was curious to know.— I have turned to the passage referred to, on which I have nothing to say, except that you have put the whole case of the transparency of the air quite in a new light to me.—4

In regard to species, if forms which have all the ordinary characters of species, are given up as immutable beings so created, it is, I think, extremely difficult not to go very much further; but this is to too big a point to enlarge on, & I am in a poor way today, having spent nearly all of it on the sofa; so goodbye & believe me | Dear Jenyns | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

I have had some correspondence with Buckman.—5


Dated by the relationship to the letter to Leonard Jenyns, 1 April [1858], and by CD’s reference to a forthcoming trip to Moor Park (see n. 3, below).
The Athenæum, 16 August 1856, p. 1032, carried a brief account of Jenyns 1856, a paper on variation in animals read at the 1856 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. John Stevens Henslow had told CD about Jenyns’s paper (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter from J. S. Henslow, 2 August 1856).
CD went to Moor Park hydropathic establishment, near Farnham, Surrey, on 20 April 1858 (‘Journal’; Appendix II). He had first visited Moor Park, run by Edward Wickstead Lane, in April 1857 (Correspondence vol. 6).
Jenyns had cited CD’s remarks from Journal of researches on the transparency of the air at the Cape Verde Islands in order to support his suggestion that the clearest air can be found between showers of rain (Jenyns 1858, p. 255, 256–7 n.).
James Buckman, professor of geology and botany at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, had also delivered a paper at the 1856 British Association meeting on the variability and possible transmutation of cultivated plants. CD had corresponded with him in 1857 (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to James Buckman, 4 October [1857], and letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 12 November 1857], n. 6).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Jenyns, Leonard. 1856. On the variation of species. Report of the 26th meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Cheltenham, Transactions of the sections, pp. 101–5. [vols. 6,7,8]

Jenyns, Leonard. 1858. Observations in meteorology. London. [vols. 3,7]

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.


Asks LJ to lend him a copy of his paper ["Variation of species", Rep. BAAS 26 (1856): 101–5] and any notes or references he has. Although CD has a large accumulation of facts, it is impossible to see and consider too many.

His health is poor.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Leonard Jenyns/Leonard Blomefield
Sent from
Source of text
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2253,” accessed on 13 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7