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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Jonathan Peel   6 March [1868]1

6. Queen Anne St. | W.

March 6th

Dear Sir,

I thank you for your very obliging letter, & for your account of the Lonk Sheep.2 It is very interesting & seems to me capitally written. I wish my fellow naturalists would read such articles, for some of them would think more of natural selection, if they appreciated more fully what man can do. At the same I must say that mere naturalists are coming round at a great rate, & very few of the younger men think each flea & bug was separately created. I am much obliged also for the case of the mountain ash3

You ask after my Brother,4 who sends his kind remembrances to you. I am writing this in his house, for I live in Kent. My Brother’s health is now very poor & often for long periods he is not able to go into Society, which is a great loss to him & I think I may add to his friends.—

For the chance of your ever having made any careful observations on the numerical relations of the sexes of Sheep, I shd. be very much obliged if you can tell me from your own knowledge, or from an apparently well-established belief whether more males or females are annually born; & whether on certain years more males or females are born.— If I do not hear, I will understand that you have not attended to this point.—

With my best thanks, I beg leave to remain | Dear Sir, | Yours faithfully | & obliged.— | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Jonathan Peel, 4 March 1868.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin.


Obliged for JP’s account of sheep. Such articles would make naturalists think more of natural selection.

E. A. Darwin’s health bad.

Asks about sex ratio in sheep births.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Jonathan Peel
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
British Library (Surrogate RP 8059)
Physical description
4pp photocopy

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5983,” accessed on 2 June 2020,

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