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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire   28 January [1860]

Down Bromley Kent

Jan. 28


I beg pardon for troubling you again. The pamphlet on the origin or variation of species, which you kindly said you had sent me has never arrived & I fear is lost.1 In your letter you say it was published in the Magasin de Zoologie; but your reference is defaced by a blot. It seems like 1850, but I can find nothing; would you be so good as to give me the volume year & page of the Magasin, for I am very anxious to see the paper.2 To save you as much trouble as possible I enclose an envelope.—  

With may apologies for troubling you & with much respect, I remain | Dear Sir | Your obliged servant | Charles Darwin

Perhaps your paper was printed in the Revue de Zoologies: I searched many volumes in vain.—


Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire’s letter has not been found. CD referred to it in the letter to Charles Lyell, 14 January [1860]. See also letter to Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 12 January [1860].
CD refers to I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1851, published in the Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliquée. The article contains a section entitled ‘Résumé des lecons sur la question de l’espèce’, in which Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire stated his belief that species are subject to limited variability (I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1851, pp. 15–20). There is a lightly annotated copy of the work in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. CD cited the article in the ‘historical preface’ added to the revised American edition of Origin (see Correspondence vol.8, Appendix IV), to the German translation (Bronn trans. 1860), and to the third English edition (1861).


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

Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore. 1851. Cours de zoologie (mammifères et oiseaux), fait au Muséum d’histoire naturelle, en 1850. Revue et magasin de zoologie 2d ser. 3: 12–20.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


The pamphlet on the origin or variation of species sent by IGS-H has not arrived. CD is eager to see it and requests precise reference. ["Cours de zoologie (mammifères et oiseaux), fait au Muséum d’histoire naturelle, en 1850", Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Appliquée 2d ser. 3: 12–20.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
Sent from
30 Jan 1860
Source of text
Uppsala University Library: Manuscripts and Music (Waller Ms gb-00521)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2665A,” accessed on 13 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8