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Darwin Correspondence Project

To H. W. Bates   22 April [1868]1

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

Ap. 22d

My dear Bates.

Hearty thanks.— you are the man to answer a question fully & clearly.— I return the drawing which & to whole case is capital for me.—2

I have nearly finished my M.S. on Lepidoptera & will then have it copied by a man who writes an excellent hand.—

Your most kind offer of reading it has made all the difference to me: if I had not known this I shd have been tormented the whole time with doubts.3 I have tried to be cautious & to avoid blunders, but when one writes on a subject, with which one is not familiar, mistakes almost inevitably occur.—

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

Two-thirds of the M.S. relates to facts communicated by you to me, or published by you.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from H. W. Bates, 20 April 1868.
CD refers to a drawing of a conspicuous caterpillar. See letter from H. W. Bates, 20 April 1868 and n. 1.
Bates probably offered to read CD’s manuscript on Lepidoptera when they met in London (see letter to H. W. Bates 18 March [1868] and n. 4). No manuscript on Lepidoptera has been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL, but in a letter of 17 January 1870 (Calendar no. 7082), Bates told CD he was returning a corrected manuscript of the entomological section of Descent.


Thanks HWB for answering questions.

The MS on Lepidoptera is almost finished and he is glad HWB will read it; he is fearful of mistakes, not being familiar with the subject.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Walter Bates
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6135,” accessed on 22 September 2019,

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