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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Wheldon   20 May [1869]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

May 20th

Dear Sir

Please send the 2 Books as below, with account, addressed to “C. Darwin Eq

care of Down Postman | Bromley | Kent”2

Per Rail

Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin

1602 ANTHROPOLOGIA, or Dissertations on the Form and Colour of Man, with Incidental Remarks by J. Jarrold, M.D., 4to, boards, 10s 6d, rare 1808

This work has much the appearance of the Darwinian theory.3

1658 LAWRENCE’s Lectures on Man, plates,4


The year is established by the headed writing paper, which is of a sort that CD used from April 1869 to May 1871, and by a record of payment to Wheldon (see n. 2, below).
On 27 May 1869, CD recorded a payment of 12s. 6d. to ‘Wheldon’ under the heading ‘Books’ in his Classed account books (Down House MS). CD had cut out advertisements (presumably from one of Wheldon’s catalogues) for the books he wanted and pasted them on the letter.
The author was, in fact, Thomas Jarrold (Jarrold 1808). Jarrold discussed topics such as the gradation of organisms and whether humans belonged to a single species. CD’s annotated copy of Jarrold 1808 is in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 440). In Descent 1: 147 n. 74, CD referred to Jarrold’s observation of modification of the shape of the skull when the head was habitually held in an unnatural position.
CD’s copy of William Lawrence’s Lectures on physiology, zoology, and the natural history of man (Lawrence 1822) is in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 485–6). CD recorded having read an earlier edition of Lawrence’s book (Lawrence 1819) in his reading notebook for 23 April 1847; his only comment on the book was ‘poor’ (see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV; on the controversy surrounding the book, see A. Desmond 1989, pp. 117–21). CD referred several times to Lawrence’s observations on physical attributes of different groups of people in Descent.


Orders two second-hand books from a dealer’s catalogue.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6753F,” accessed on 18 February 2020,

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