skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Bowman   10 March [1863]1

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

March 10th

My dear Mr. Bowman

I thank you heartily for the trouble which you have taken. I will venture to give you a little, & but a little, more trouble by sending you at most 3 or 4 pages of M.S, well copied out, after I have worked your remarks in.—2

You will thus be able to see whether I have made any blunder, & possibly some cases might occur to you worth adding; for instance any inherited deviation in form or function of the iris, or in shape of lens.—3 The reading over my few pages cannot cause you much trouble & you could strike out anything with a pencil—

With sincere thanks | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I shall not get the M.S. ready for a week or so,—

I shd. be glad of any case of ill-growth of eye-lashes inherited.—4


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to James Paget, 11 March [1863] (Correspondence vol. 11; see n. 4, below).
See this volume, Supplement, letter from William Bowman, 31 January [1863]. Bowman had suggested meeting CD to talk about a subject in which CD was interested. Bowman’s remarks have not been found in any letter, but may have been given to CD in person while he was visiting London from 4 to 14 February 1863. CD included information from Bowman on inherited imperfections of the eye in Variation 2: 8–10.
There is no specific mention of inherited deviations in the iris or the shape of the lens in the information supplied by Bowman in Variation; the particular conditions on which CD cited Bowman were hypermetropia, myopia, squinting, and cataract (Variation 2: 8–9).
CD asked the same question of James Paget (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to James Paget, 11 March [1863]). Information from Paget on the inheritance of long hairs in eyebrows, but not eyelashes, is given in Variation 2: 8.


Will send portion of copied manuscript [of Variation 2: 8–10] for WB to examine. Asks about inherited abnormalities of the eye.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bowman, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5030,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18 (Supplement)