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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Frank Buckland   21 March [1865]1

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

Mar 21

My dear Sir

I have heard from Mr Pennell who enclosed your note, & have written to him to say that the state of my health rendered it impossible for me to meet him in London, but that I wd attend to any written communication.2 Whenever you can spare time, I hope you will have the great kindness to let me hear about the skin between the toes of otter hounds in comparison with other hounds.3 I can only repeat what I said before that I shd be delighted to see you here, but at the same time I am bound to state that on some days I can see no one & can never talk with any one more than for a quarter or half an hour.4

Believe me | My dear Mr Buckland | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin.

Shall you think me very unreasonable if I ask you to give me your Photograph [on] a Carte de V.?


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Frank Buckland, 18 March 1865 (Correspondence vol. 13).
The correspondence with Henry Cholmondeley Pennell has not been found, but the note CD refers to is the letter from Buckland of 18 March 1865 (Correspondence vol. 13).
CD had first questioned Buckland about the skin between the toes of otter-hounds in his letter to Buckland of 11 December [1864] (Correspondence vol. 12). Buckland inserted a query by CD on the subject in the 6 October 1866 issue of Land and Water, a magazine edited by him (see Correspondence vol. 14, letter to Frank Buckland, 2 October 1866). In Variation 1: 39–40, CD noted that English otter-hounds had more skin between their toes than did other hounds.
CD had invited Buckland to visit in his letter of 15 December [1864] (Correspondence vol. 12).


Has heard from Mr Pennell, and written to say too ill to see him. Would like to hear about skin between toes of otter hounds in comparison with other hounds.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Trevelyan (Frank) Buckland
Sent from
Source of text
Heritage Auctions (dealers) (8–9 April 2011)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4790F,” accessed on 24 January 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)