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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Williams & Norgate1   10 February [1866]2

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

Feb. 10th

Dear Sir

Please get for me & send to “care of G. Snow Nag’s Head,”3 Owens Anatomy of Vertebrates.—4

I will take in for present year the Annals & Mag. of Nat. Hist,5 & it may be sent by post monthly or bimonthly or with the Poultry Book.—6

Please & try & procure for me & send soon by Post, the 3 following numbers of the “Medical Times & Gazette”, viz

for August 19th. 1865

—Sept. 9th. do

Sept 23rd. do7

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | C. Darwin

It is a great misfor. that the Nat. Hist. Revw. has ceased.—8


The recipient is identified by the references to works published or sold by Williams & Norgate (see nn. 4–6 and 8, below).
The year is established by the date publication of the Natural History Review ceased; see n. 8, below.
The carrier service between Down and London, operated weekly by George Snow, returned from the Nag’s Head public house in Borough High Street, London (Post Office London directory 1866, and Freeman 1978, p. 261).
The first of the three volumes of On the anatomy of vertebrates (Owen 1866–8) was published on 14 December 1865, bearing the date 1866 on the title page; the second volume was scheduled to appear on 1 March 1866 (Reader 6 (1865): 655). The third volume did not appear until 1868. There are annotated copies of all three volumes in the Darwin Library–CUL (Marginalia 1: 645–8). The work was published by Longmans, Green, and Co., with whom Williams & Norgate had a collaborative relationship (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 13, letter to J. D. Hooker, [29 July 1865], n. 19; Freeman 1977, pp. 116–17).
CD’s annotated set of the Annals and Magazine of Natural History is in the Darwin Library–CUL and runs from 1838 to 1855 inclusive, and from 1865 to 1873 inclusive. CD may have stopped subscribing between 1856 and 1864 (see also Correspondence vol. 8, letter to John Lubbock, [18 November 1860]). From 1866, the journal was published by Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, successor to Longmans, Green, and Co (see n. 4, above; Post Office London directory 1865 and 1866). The covers of several unbound parts in CD’s set bear Williams & Norgate’s trade label.
The poultry book (Tegetmeier 1867) was published monthly from January 1866. There is an annotated copy of the unbound set of the fifteen published parts in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 500–3); the covers of several of the parts bear Williams & Norgate’s trade label.
These numbers contained the second of a pair of lectures on inflammation by Lionel Smith Beale (see letter from L. S. Beale, 9 February 1866 and n. 1).
Williams & Norgate were the publishers of the quarterly Natural History Review; CD subscribed to the new series of the journal from its appearance in 1861. The final part of its fifth and last volume appeared in October 1865 (see also Correspondence vol. 13, letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 July 1865 and n. 28).


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

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

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.

Owen, Richard. 1866–8. On the anatomy of vertebrates. 3 vols. London: Longmans, Green & Co.

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.

Tegetmeier, William Bernhard. 1867. The poultry book: comprising the breeding and management of profitable and ornamental poultry, their qualities and characteristics; to which is added ‘The standard of excellence in exhibition birds’, authorized by the Poultry Club. London and New York: George Routledge & Sons.


Orders Richard Owen’s Anatomy of vertebrates [1866–8],

subscribes to Annals and Magazine of Natural History,

and orders three back numbers of Medical Times and Gazette.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Williams & Norgate
Sent from
Source of text
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (ASHCOMBE COLLECTION/V/52)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5002,” accessed on 15 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14