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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. B. Tegetmeier   15 October 1866

Muswell Hill | London | N

Oct 15, 66.

My dear Sir

The Engravers inform me that they have delivered the blocks to Mr Murray, and have been paid—1 Mr Wells posted me the enclosed—2 I hardly know whether I should have directed him to call or forward it to Mr Murray, or whether it requires your signature to be paid

I have had some pleasant correspondence with Prof Newton respecting an original dodo picture I discovered—3 He also seems to have discovered that varieties and variation are not altogether beneath the notice of naturalists.

I hope your work will be out before very long. I am very anxious to read it— I think in my marginal


Butterworth and Heath, a firm of wood-engravers with premises at 356 Strand, London, engraved the blocks of Luke Wells’s illustrations for Variation (Post Office London directory 1866; see Correspondence vol. 13, letter from W. B. Tegetmeier to John Murray and R. F. Cooke, 17 April 1865). John Murray was CD’s publisher.
The enclosure from Wells has not been found, but see letter to John Murray, 16 October [1866]. Tegetmeier had overseen the illustrations of pigeons and fowls for Variation (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 27 March 1865).
Alfred Newton, professor of zoology and comparative anatomy at Cambridge University, corresponded with Tegetmeier about a seventeenth-century painting of a white dodo that Tegetmeier had discovered in a private collection. Tegetmeier had exhibited the picture at a meeting of the Zoological Society of London, 10 April 1866 (Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 14 (1866): 201). Tegetmeier supplied Newton with a photograph of the original and Newton published an article including a reproduction of the picture (Newton 1867; several letters written by Tegetmeier to Newton about the painting between October 1866 and February 1867 are in the Alfred Newton Papers–CUL).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.

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


The blocks [for Variation] have been forwarded to Murray.

WBT has been corresponding with Prof. Newton.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Muswell Hill
Source of text
DAR 178: 76
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5243,” accessed on 22 June 2021,

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