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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin   7 May [1864]1

May 7

Dear Charles.

Sir H send’s thanks for Zoo:2 which he has returned. I told him you had been trying Podophyll:3 & he said he had just had a patient come to him suffering from taking it & that as far as he knew it was nothing but a strong drastic, & if taken with that view he should think not good for you. I dont think I experienced any other effect from it myself

yours aff. | E D


The year is established by the reference to CD’s taking the drug podophyllin. He began doing so on 24 March 1864 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
The reference is to Henry Holland, who had asked to borrow a copy of Erasmus Darwin’s Zoonomia (E. Darwin 1794–6). See letter from E. A. Darwin, [15? April 1864]. CD’s annotated copy of this work is in the Rare Books Room at CUL (see Marginalia 1: 185–7).


Darwin, Erasmus. 1794–6. Zoonomia; or, the laws of organic life. 2 vols. London: J. Johnson.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.


Henry Holland sends thanks for Zoonomia.

Sir Henry would not expect podophyllin to be good for CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105: B27
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4489,” accessed on 19 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12