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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Kingsley   1 December [1859]1

Ilkley Wells House | Otley Yorkshire

Dec 1

Dear Sir

Thank you for your second note.2 I am very glad you wrote the Winter Garden, I did so extremely like it.3 I felt myself amongst the tall fir-trees.— With respect to Cirripeds, the Ray Soc. published two awfully big volumes of my work with many Plates4    They cost together 1.1.0; but would not be in the least worth your buying, as I describe all species of world & go into great detail of anatomy, homologies & metamorphosis. Owen in his second Edition of Comp. Anat gives good abstract.5 In the new Edit. of Penny Cyclop. I wrote a brief abstract for Dr. Lankester of my work.—6 If you shd care much for subject, you might borrow the vols. from any of the Scientific societies. The facts given on the Complemental (i e accessory males married to a hermaphrodite) males are, I think, really very curious, & these males, almost the most degraded creatures in the world. It took me months before I could believe my own eyes & I have given evidence in great detail.—7

I would venture to advise you to read one of the abstracts, & then if you care for subject borrow my volumes.—

I can in truth hardly say how glad I am you have permitted me to quote the sentence in your note.8

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Charles Kingsley, 30 November [1859] (Correspondence vol. 7).
Kingsley’s second letter has not been found, but see Correspondence vol. 7, letter from Charles Kingsley, 18 November 1859.
CD refers to Kingsley 1858.
CD refers to Living Cirripedia (1851) and Living Cirripedia (1854).
The reference is to Richard Owen and Owen 1855, pp. 277–95.
CD refers to Edwin Lankester and the English cyclopædia; Lankester was in charge of the natural history articles (ibid. 1: viii). In the entry for Cirripedia, Lankester quoted extensively from CD’s abstract (see ibid. 1: 1096–1118).
CD first discovered ‘complemental males’ in the hermaphrodite barnacle Scalpellum vulgare in 1848 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letters to J. D. Hooker, 10 May 1848 and n. 12 and 6 October [1848], and Living Cirripedia (1851), pp. 281–93). In some species, these complemental males lacked stomach and mouth parts and several had no penis.
See Correspondence vol. 7, letter from Charles Kingsley, 18 November 1859 and n. 4.


Is very glad CK wrote the article My Winter Garden (Kingsley 1858), which CD enjoyed.

Thinks CK should read abstracts of Living Cirripedia (1851) and Living Cirripedia (1854), and then, if he is particularly interested, borrow the actual volumes, rather than purchase them.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Kingsley
Sent from
Source of text
University of Toronto, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (MSS gen 30.058)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2564F,” accessed on 31 May 2020,

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