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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Kippist   27 [February or March 1861?]1



My dear Sir

I will send Carrier2 for Books tomorrow Thursday Morning & he shall pay 6s but please give a slip as receipt, for I do not like trusting Carriers.—

If you have in Library Agricolas Latin Work on Agriculture (or any Translation)3 please send it.—

If you have not Agricola please send in lieu (for he quotes Agricola) ‘Aldrovandi de Quadrupedibus digitatis 1637.’—4

Have you Castelnau voyage in S. America;5 I want to see the Historical part, not the pure Zoological part.

Lastly (God forgive me) if at present in, please send Brown-Sequard’s Journal de Phys: Vol. 2.6 but I know Mr Sclater7 had it out.—

Yours sincerely | C. Darwin


The date is conjectured by reference to the works CD wished to consult (see nn. 4–6, below), which are cited in Variation 1, chapters 3 and 4. In his journal, CD wrote that he finished chapter 3 of Variation and began chapter 4 on 20 March 1861 (see Correspondence vol. 9, Appendix II). In 1861, 27 February and 27 March were both Wednesdays. Chapter 3 of Variation (1: 65–102) is on pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats; chapter 4 (1: 103–30) is on rabbits.
George Snow ran a carrier service between London and Down every Thursday (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1862). Kippist was the librarian of the Linnean Society (DNB); CD often arranged to borrow the books that he needed to consult for his research.
CD may refer to G. A. Agricola 1721, A philosophical treatise of husbandry and gardening; being a new method of cultivating and increasing all sorts of trees, shrubs, and flowers. However, it was originally written in High-Dutch, not Latin. It is mentioned, and marked ‘read’, in CD’s list of books to be read in his reading notebooks (see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, **119: 19v.), but it is not cited in Variation.
Aldrovandus 1637. This work was cited in Variation 1: 104. G. Agricola 1614, a study of burrowing animals, was cited in Aldrovandus 1637, pp. 384 and 388, not G. A. Agricola 1721 (see n. 3, above).
Castelnau 1850–7, Expédition dans les parties centrales de l’Amérique du sud … exécutée par ordre du gouvernement français pendant les années 1843 à 1847. Francis de la Porte Castelnau is cited for information on cattle in Variation 1: 88, but no bibliographic reference is given.
The Journal de la physiologie de l’homme et des animaux was edited by Charles Edouard Brown-Séquard. Volume 2 contained the third and fourth part of an article on hybridity in hares and rabbits by Pierre Paul Broca (Broca 1858–9); the fourth part was cited in Variation 1: 105.
Philip Lutley Sclater.


Requests a number of books to be sent by the carrier on Thursday morning.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Kippist
Sent from
Source of text
Morristown National Historical Park (Lloyd W. Smith MS 697)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3889A,” accessed on 11 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)