skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Cupples   18 March [1869]1

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

March 18

My dear Mr Cupples.

I add a P.S. to my last note.— If you weigh any more puppies, I do not see any advantage in the weighing being at age of 2 weeks, the first week wd be better.2

But perhaps it is more difficult at so young an age.

On reflection I daresay the Bitch puppies so soon exceeding in weight the Dog puppies was caused by their foster mother having fewer to nurse.—3

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letters from George Cupples, 11 March 1869 and 22 March 1869 (Correspondence vol. 17).
In his reply to this letter, Cupples promised that he would weigh every litter of puppies from the age of one week (Correspondence vol. 17, letter from George Cupples, 22 March 1869). In Descent 2: 261–2, CD cited Cupples for information on the relative weights of male and female Scotch deer-hounds, but noted that Cupples began taking measurements when the puppies were a fortnight old.
In his letter of 11 March 1869 (Correspondence vol. 17), Cupples had explained that, in the litter he measured, the four dog puppies were nursed by their own mother while the three bitches were nursed by a foster mother.


Suggests that Cupples weigh puppies from one week old, rather than two weeks old.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Cupples
Sent from
Source of text
Former collection of Pr. Georges Teissier (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6668F,” accessed on 18 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)