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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edwin Ray Lankester   25 June 1869

Down, Beckenham, | Kent.

June 25th, 1869.

I have read several of Mr. E. Ray Lankester’s papers in various Journals, and have been struck by the ability and knowledge shown in them, and by his zeal for Science. Therefore in my opinion he would be well-qualified for giving Lectures on Biology, and for leading students along the right path.1

Charles Darwin.


Lankester was a candidate for the Lee’s Readership in anatomy at Christ Church, Oxford; he was unsuccessful (see Lester 1995, pp. 22–3). No letter from Lankester requesting a recommendation has been found.


Lester, Joseph. 1995. E. Ray Lankester and the making of modern British biology. Edited and with additional material by Peter J. Bowler. Oxford: British Society for the History of Science.


Testimonial letter for ERL, praising his ability, knowledge, and zeal for science.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edwin Ray Lankester
Sent from
Caerdeon Down letterhead
Source of text
DAR 221.4: 219
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6803,” accessed on 6 October 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17