skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   4 December [1866]1

Down Bromley | Kent

Dec 4th.

My dear Sir

You will remember the note you sent me about Mr. Zurhorst & the eggs; & it seems so distinct that although your experiments were contradictory, I am tempted to give the case.2 Pray tell me what you think. If Mr. Z. actually saw the eggs himself I would rely on him. Perhaps you will be so kind as to give me his address & I will write & ask.

I was very sorry not to see you in London but was unable to break my previous engagement.3 I am now looking through my pigeon & fowl M.S. & am profitting by your remarks.4 I hope in a fortnight to send the whole to press.5

My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 9 July [1866] (see n. 2, below).
CD had asked Tegetmeier whether Frederick William Zurhorst would repeat an experiment that involved crossing a Cochin hen with a Spanish fowl in order to study the eggs produced (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 16 January [1866] and n. 5). No letter reporting Zurhorst’s observations has been found, but Tegetmeier evidently made the experiment himself and reported his results to CD (see the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 9 July [1866] and n. 4).
CD was in London from 22 to 29 November 1866 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
CD refers to the three chapters on pigeons and fowls in Variation 1: 131–275. He had asked Tegetmeier to comment on the manuscript of these chapters the previous year (see Correspondence vol. 13).
CD sent the manuscript of all but the last chapter of Variation to his publisher on 22 December 1866 (see letter to John Murray, 21 and 22 December [1866]).


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

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


Is tempted to cite Mr Zurhorst’s case.

Hopes to send pigeon and fowl MS [of Variation] to press in a fortnight.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5293,” accessed on 15 May 2021,

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