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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Kingsley   30 April [1867]1

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

Ap. 30

My dear Mr Kingsley

I fully agree with you on the importance of giving to a certain extent a scientific character to Fraser’s Mag.; & I do assure you that it would have given me sincere pleasure to have assisted you in any way.2 But at present I really cannot: I am daily knocked up by correcting proof sheets & the printers are a dozen sheets a head of me, so that I greatly doubt whether I can finish the book by November when Murray wants it.3 Hence it would be ruin to me to stop work for a week or fortnight, & I could not write an article in less time than this. I have so much unpublished matter half completed that I have often vowed I wd never write miscellaneous articles, but I shd have been much tempted under other circumstances to have broken my vow at your request.

So I hope that you will forgive me & believe me | my dear Mr Kingsley | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to the proof-sheets of Variation (see n. 3, below).
No letter in which Kingsley invited CD to contribute to Fraser’s Magazine has been found. Kingsley himself was a contributor to Fraser’s; the main emphasis of the magazine was politics, religion, and social conditions, and it was an ‘organ of progressive thought’. From May to August 1867 Kingsley ran Fraser’s Magazine during the absence of the editor, James Anthony Froude. (Wellesley index 2: 303–14.)
CD was working on the page proofs of Variation (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix II)). No letter from John Murray, CD’s publisher, asking that the book be finished by November has been found, but see the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 6 January [1867].


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.

Wellesley index: The Wellesley index to Victorian periodicals 1824–1900. Edited by Walter E. Houghton et al. 5 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1966–89.


Regrets that he is too busy getting his book [Variation] ready for publication to contribute an article to Fraser’s Magazine.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Kingsley
Sent from
Source of text
B. C. Guild (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5520,” accessed on 8 April 2020,

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