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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Bowman   3 September [1869]1

North End | Hampstead

Sept. 3rd

My dear Mr Darwin,

Profr. Donders of Utrecht is with me, and if you should be at home and able to receive a call from us on Tuesday next, we would do ourselves the pleasure of coming to Bromley but I write beforehand to ascertain—thinking it very likely you may be from home at this season.—2

I know of no one abroad more instructed in all recent progress or more able to appreciate your works—

I hope next year he will pass a month with me but on this occasion his stay is very short & he leaves on Wednesday— I have asked him to think over the points you referred to me from Sir C. Bell’s works—3

Yours very truly | W Bowman

C. Darwin Esqr


The year is established by the reference to Frans Cornelis Donders’s visit (see n. 2, below).
Donders’s visit to Down is mentioned in CD’s letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 September [1869]. The Tuesday after 3 September 1869 was 7 September.
CD had asked Bowman about a passage in Charles Bell’s Anatomy and philosophy of expression as connected with the fine arts (Bell 1844) in his letter of 2 April [1868] (Correspondence vol. 16). CD had previously asked Bowman for observations pertaining to Bell’s account of weeping (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to William Bowman, 30 July [1867]).


Bell, Charles. 1844. The anatomy and philosophy of expression as connected with the fine arts. Preface by George Bell, and an appendix on the nervous system by Alexander Shaw. 3d edition, enlarged. London: John Murray.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Asks whether he may come with F. C. Donders to visit CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Bowman, 1st baronet
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6877,” accessed on 12 June 2024,

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