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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Kingsley   13 December [1867]1

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

Dec 13th.

My dear Mr. Kingsley

Although you are so kind as to tell me not to write, I must send a few lines to thank you for your letter.2 It is very interesting & surprising to me that you find at Cambridge after so short an interval a greater willingness to accept the views which we both admit. I do not doubt that this is largely owing to a man so eminent as yourself venturing to speak out. The mass of educated men will always sooner or later follow those, whose knowledge they recognize on any especial study; & this being the case I feel no doubt that views closely akin to those which I have advocated will ultimately be universally admitted. The younger working naturalists are almost all coming round: recently one of the paleontologists in Jermyn St3 told me that he did not know a single rising man who did not largely adopt my views and I hear that this is the case likewise in Germany.4

I literally did not find, nor did Sir C. Lyell,5 one single new idea in the Graduates’ of Cambridge book.6 My work on Variation Under Domestication is delayed by the index but will appear about the close of the year; and I have told Murray to send a copy to Eversley.7 You will find the greater part quite unreadable—a mere encyclopedia of facts—but certain portions may, & I heartily hope will, interest you.

With hearty thanks for all your kindness | My dear Mr. Kingsley, yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Charles Kingsley, 11 December 1867.
The Royal School of Mines, the Geological Survey of Great Britain, and the Museum of Practical Geology occupied the same building in Jermyn Street, London (Reeks 1920, p. vii).
In his letter of 12 May 1867, Ernst Haeckel expressed the view that CD’s work would be increasingly accepted by the younger scientists in Germany. On the reception of CD’s theory in Germany, see also the letter from C. L. Brace, 14 November 1867, n. 6.
[Beverley] 1867; there is a copy in the Darwin Library–Down.
Kingsley resided in Eversley, Hampshire. His name appears on the presentation list for Variation (DAR 210.11: 33).


[Beverley, Robert Mackenzie.] 1867. The Darwinian theory of the transmutation of species examined by a graduate of the University of Cambridge. London: James Nisbet & Co.

Reeks, Margaret. 1920. Register of the associates and old students of the Royal School of Mines and history of the Royal School of Mines. 2 vols. London: Royal School of Mines (Old Students’) Association.

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


Discusses the reception of CD’s views at Cambridge and elsewhere.

Variation delayed by the index, but will appear at the end of the year.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Kingsley
Sent from
Source of text
Quaritch (dealers) (2007)
Physical description
LS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5728F,” accessed on 28 February 2024,

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