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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hugh Falconer   24 [June 1861]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.


My dear Falconer

I have just received your note & by good luck a day earlier than properly & I lose not a moment in answering you, & thanking you heartily for your offer of the valuable specimen; but I have no aquarium & shall soon start for Torquay so that it would be a thousand pities that I shd have it.2 Yet I shd. certainly much like to see it, but I fear it is impossible.— Would not the Zoolog. Soc be the best place, & then the interest which many would take in this extraordinary animal would repay you for your trouble.—

Kind as you have been in taking the trouble & offering me this specimen, to tell the truth I value your note more than the specimen. I shall keep your note amongst a very few precious letters. Your kindness has quite touched me.—

Yours affectionately & gratefully | Ch. Darwin


This letter was originally published in Correspondence vol. 9 from the printed copy in LL.
Falconer had offered CD a live Proteus anguinus, a blind cave salamander (see letter from Hugh Falconer, 23 June 1861).


LL: The life and letters of Charles Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter. Edited by Francis Darwin. 3 vols. London: John Murray. 1887–8.


Thanks HF for offer of valuable specimen, but CD has no aquarium. Suggests the Zoological Society would be the best place for it.

Will keep HF’s note among a very few precious letters.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hugh Falconer
Sent from
JU 24 | 61
Source of text
Bellmans (dealers) (5 December 2019, lot 632)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3196,” accessed on 19 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9