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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Roland Trimen   12 February [1868]1

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

Feb 12

My dear Mr Trimen

I shall be very happy to put my name down for your brother’s book & he can hand over the enclosed paper to Hardwick—2

Since you were here I have become much interested on the relative numbers of the males & females of all animals.3 I am particularly anxious for other cases like that from Wallace which you gave me of females in excess;4 or to know that such cases are rare. If you can, I am sure you will aid me.

Do you give many instances in your book on S. African butterflies, of males in excess. I remember writing down one or 2 cases which you gave me—5

Believe me | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Roland Trimen, 10 February 1868.
See letter from Roland Trimen, 10 February 1868. Robert Hardwicke was the publisher of Flora of Middlesex by Henry Trimen and William Turner Thiselton-Dyer (H. Trimen and Thiselton-Dyer 1869). CD’s copy is in the Darwin Library–Down (see Marginalia 1: 808).
Trimen had visited CD at Down on 28 and 29 December 1867 (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to Roland Trimen, 24 December [1867] and n. 1).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Trimen, Roland. 1862–6. Rhopalocera Africæ Australis; a catalogue of South African butterflies, comprising descriptions of all the known species with notices of their larvæ, pupæ, localities, habits, seasons of appearance, and geographical distribution. London: Trübner. Cape Town, South Africa: W. F. Mathew.


Is interested in the relative numbers of males and females of all animals; wants any instances of males, or females, being in excess.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Roland Trimen
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Entomological Society (Trimen papers, box 21: 64)
Physical description
LS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5867,” accessed on 13 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16