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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Lyell1   27 September 1860

27th. Septr. 1860

– I am haunted with a kind of misgiving, which bye & bye I shall be able to express more clearly—that the multiple origin of the dog will furnish an argument for the multiple origin of a Mammal, or of Man. Do try to consider it that way, for I incline to go far with Hooker (& with you?) in believing that whatever is true in domestication is essentially possible in Nature also, & I am not sure that you confine the multiple origin of the dog to Man’s selection.


The text of the letter is taken from a copy in Lyell’s scientific journal. It is also printed in Wilson ed. 1970, p. 496.


Fears that multiple origin of the domestic dog will be extended to mammals or man. Believes, with Hooker, that whatever occurs in domestication is possible in nature.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Charles Robert Darwin
Source of text
Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, p. 12
Physical description
1p inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2930A,” accessed on 20 January 2021,

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