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Darwin Correspondence Project

From H. W. Bates   14 June 1862

King St Leicester

14 June 1862

My Dear Mr Darwin

Adjoined is a sort of answer to Mr Wedgwood’s query & I shall be glad if it prove of any use.1 I am truly sorry to hear of your being again more unwell than usual: but this under the circumstances of the interruption to your work which it causes, is a national concern.

My book “progresses” it is true, but slowly.2 How thoroughly ashamed I am to have bragged to you how quickly I could write it.3 I am at it every day as many hours as I can stand; but what takes me one day to write, takes 5 to alter.

Please do not make use of the facts about generative organs in beetles which I gave you.4 Conversing in London again with those gentlemen I find such a chaos of statements that the facts are not to be depended upon—

Yours sincerely | H W Bates


See letter to H. W. Bates, 11 June [1862] and n. 2. The enclosure has not been found.
No letter from Bates containing such a claim has been found. However, when CD wrote to John Murray asking whether he would be interested in publishing Bates’s travel narrative, he emphasised that Bates wished ‘to publish soon’ (see letter to John Murray, 28 January [1862]).


Bates, Henry Walter. 1863. The naturalist on the River Amazons. A record of adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and aspects of nature under the equator, during eleven years of travel. 2 vols. London: John Murray.


Sends answer to Wedgwood’s query

and is sorry to hear CD is again unwell.

His book is progressing very slowly.

Asks that CD not make use of any of the facts about generative organs in beetles for he finds "such a chaos of statements" that facts are not to be depended upon.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Walter Bates
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 160.1: 70
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3604,” accessed on 25 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10