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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Alfred Newton   23 January [1867]

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

Jan 23

My dear Sir

I thank you very sincerely for your very full & perfectly clear statement about the male plumage.1 I wish the evidence had been a little more distinct, though certainly from the several points which you mention, the probability of the truth of your view seems great. I will look to the papers in the Ibis to which you have been so good as to refer me.2 Your theory is to me so captivating that I much hope you will be able some day to prove it.3

With my cordial thanks for your very kind letter believe me | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


CD discussed the instances of male birds that sat on eggs being smaller and less brightly coloured than females of the same species in Descent 2: 200–8.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.


Thanks for the information about the male plumage. [See 5374.] Will look to the papers in Ibis to which AN has referred him. He finds AN’s theory captivating.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Newton
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 185: 88
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5376A,” accessed on 16 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15