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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Susan and Catherine Darwin   [22 July 1840]


that makes her so uncomfortable.—

Catty is going to the Library & will answer yr questions at the end. We will take no notice about poor John of course.—

Goodbye | Dear Charly | Ever Yr affecte. S E D.

They have got the Measles at Overton, & Franky is very poorly.1

Smellie’s History of Natural Philosophy 1st. Vol.—2 published in 1790. Edinburgh. Printed for the Heirs of Charles Elliot & C. Elliot, & T. Kay. T Cadell & G. G. & J. J. Robinson—London. 1st Edition—Pages 517. 2d Vol. published in 1799. by the late W. Smellie. Printed for Bell & Bradfute. W. Creech E. Balfour & Robinson, Paternoster Row


Francis Parker.
The correct title is The philosophy of natural history (Smellie 1790–9). CD may have been interested in Smellie’s arguments against the idea of sexual reproduction in plants (Smellie 1790–9, 1: 245–63). CD’s record of his reading (DAR 119) shows that he had read volume 1 by 24 May 1842 (Vorzimmer 1977, p. 129). His copy in Darwin Library–CUL is annotated.


Smellie, William. 1790–9. The philosophy of natural history. 2 vols. Edinburgh.

Vorzimmer, Peter J. 1977. The Darwin reading notebooks (1838-1860). Journal of the History of Biology 10: 107–53.


Reference to W. Smellie’s Natural history [1791] requested by CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
S⁠⟨⁠hrewsb⁠⟩⁠ury JY 22 1840
Source of text
DAR 261.11: 24 (EH 88206076)
Physical description
ALS 2pp inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 575,” accessed on 22 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2