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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   16 [March 1863]



My dear Fox

Very many thanks for your to me very interesting letter.—1 I did not think it likely that you could add much.— if you should hear what Ram was I shd. like to add it.2

After writing I found sentence in your old letter, which I had overlooked saying that you believed white & slate Musks breed true, so I have put it in cautiously.—3 These facts interest me greatly.

I suppose we must go to Malvern; but it breaks my heart.—4 I am tired with a lot of letters, so goodBye with many thanks | Ever yours | C. Darwin


See letter from W. D. Fox, 12 March [1863]. Fox’s reply has not been found, but see the letter to W. D. Fox, 23 March [1863]. See also CD’s description of the ram in Variation 2: 30.
The letter from Fox to which CD refers has not been found; however, see the letter to W. D. Fox, 9 March [1863] and n. 1. The crosses conducted by Fox are briefly mentioned in Variation 2: 40.
See letter to W. D. Fox, 9 March [1863], and letter from W. D. Fox, 12 March [1863]. CD refers to James Manby Gully’s hydropathic establishment in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, where Anne Elizabeth Darwin, CD’s eldest daughter and favourite child, died in 1851 (see Correspondence vol. 5).


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

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


If WDF should hear what ram was put to the ewes, CD would like to add it [see Variation 2: 30].

Will add "cautiously" that WDF believes white and slate muscovy ducks breed true [Variation 2: 40].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
MR 16 63
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 137)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4044,” accessed on 6 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11