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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Albert Günther   27 September [1869]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Sept 27th

My dear Dr. Günther

Your answers to all my many queries are so full, clear & explicit that I have not a word more to ask, & they will be of the greatest use to me.—2

I would not on any account ask you to write to America about which sex of the Chromids sits on the nest; but if you write on any other subject, I shd be very much obliged if you would ask.—3

I am delighted to hear that Mr Ford will undertake the drawings. I had forgotten about differences of size in sexes; no doubt the female must be in due proportion smaller.—4

Any species of Salmon, which presents during the breeding season the difference in jaws will do very well.—5

Will you ask Mr Ford whether he has done the drawings of the feather of Polyplectron & Peacock.— I hope so, otherwise I shall have a terrible hunt to get out the specimens again.—6

With the most cordial thanks & sincere sympathy | Your’s very truly | Ch. Darwin

P.S. | Private | I wish you had told me some news about your child, & how you succeed.7 You have indeed had a hard & cruel lot to bear.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Albert Günther, 21 September 1869.
Illustrations of a tail feather of a peacock and of tail-coverts of two species of Polyplectron (peacock-pheasants) appear in Descent 2: 137, 139. There is a note with detailed instructions for Ford on the illustration of these specimens in DAR 84.1: 170.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.


Thanks AG for full answers to queries.

Delighted Mr Ford will undertake drawings [for Descent]; comments on some illustrations he would like.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Albrecht Carl Ludwig Gotthilf (Albert) Günther
Sent from
Source of text
Shrewsbury School, Taylor Library
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6913,” accessed on 25 February 2021,

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