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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Leonard Horner   23 December [1859]

Down. Bromley. Kent.

Dec. 23d.

My dear Mr Horner.

I must have the pleasure of thanking you for your extreemly kind letter. I am very much pleased that you approve of my Book & that you are going to pay me the extraordinary compliment of reading it twice.

I fear that it is tough reading; but it is beyond my powers to make the subject clearer. Lyell would have done it admirably.

You must enjoy being a gentleman at your ease; & I hear that you have returned with ardour to work at the Geological Society.1 We hope in the course of the winter to persuade Mrs. Horner2 & yourself & daughters to pay us a visit.

Ilkley did me extraordinary good during the latter part of my stay & during my first week at home; but I have gone back latterly to my bad way & fear I shall never be decently well & strong.

With many thanks for your very kind letter | Pray believe me | My dear Mr Horner | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin.

P.S. When any of your party write to Mildenhall,3 I should be much obliged if you would say to Bunbury that I hope he will not forget, whenever he reads my Book, his promise to let me know what he thinks about it; for his knowledge is so great & accurate that everyone must value his opinion highly. I shall be quite contented if his belief in the immutability of species is at all staggered.4


Horner retired as chief inspector under the Factories Act in 1856. He was elected president of the Geological Society at the annual general meeting, 17 February 1860.
Anne Susan Horner.
Mildenhall, in Suffolk, was the country home of Charles James Fox Bunbury and his wife Frances Joanna, one of Leonard Horner’s daughters.
See letter to C. J. F. Bunbury, 3 December [1859].


Much pleased that LH approves of Origin.

"Ilkley [Wells] did me extraordinary good."

Wants to know C. J. F. Bunbury’s opinion of Origin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Leonard Horner
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 145: 140
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2596,” accessed on 22 January 2020,

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