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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Sedgwick   4 March [1868]1

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

Mar 4—

Dear Sir

I am very much obliged to you for your kind note with the very interesting details on the Le Compte family, & with respect to Moss-roses &c.2

I regret extremely that I had not heard of your more recent papers on inheritance; but from living in the Country & not seeing periodicals I have no doubt missed much of importance.3 I sincerely trust that I have made due acknowledgment of the great benefit which I derived from your papers which appeared to me most valuable & interesting.4

With my best thanks | pray believe me my dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from William Sedgwick, 29 February 1868.
In his letter of 29 February 1868, Sedgwick had provided CD with additional information about a case of inherited blindness. CD had cited Sedgwick on the case in Variation 2: 78. Sedgwick had also written about reversion in moss-roses brought to Calcutta.
Sedgwick had written a paper on aspects of hereditary disease that appeared after the papers cited by CD in Variation (Sedgwick 1866–7; see also n. 4, below).
CD had referred to Sedgwick’s earlier papers on hereditary transmission of disease (Sedgwick 1861 and 1863) in Variation (see letter from William Sedgwick, 29 February 1868, n. 2).


Sedgwick, William. 1861. On sexual limitation in hereditary disease. British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review n.s. 27: 477–89; 28: 198–214.

Sedgwick, William. 1866–7. On the influence of age in hereditary disease. British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review n.s. 38: 501–23; 39: 466–96; 40: 438–72.

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


Thanks WS for information about moss roses and the Le Compte family.

Mentions WS’s recent papers on inheritance [Brit. & Foreign Med.-Chirurg. Rev. (1867)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Sedgwick, William
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.347)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5975,” accessed on 31 May 2020,

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