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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Boner   [before 8 January 1870]1

I have just received your two works, and have made some use of them for my present book; and I should have made more use of them had I received them earlier.2 You describe the grand scenery of the Tyrol most graphically, and it makes me long to be strong and young again to ramble over the mountains. My next book will not be ready for a considerable time, though part is finished.3

I am very much obliged to you for your very interesting letter, and especially glad to hear about the co-existence of varieties in the wild state.4 The fact relating to the variation of the wild boar is quite new to me.5 I hope I shall get your book soon,6 and with my best thanks, I remain, dear sir, &c., | Charles Darwin.


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Charles Boner, 8 January 1870.
CD refers to Boner 1860 (Chamois hunting in the mountains of Bavaria and in the Tyrol) and Boner 1861 (Forest creatures). Neither has been found in the Darwin Libraries at CUL or Down, but CD cited them both in Descent.
Descent was published in 1871.
CD refers to Boner 1865 (Transylvania: its products and its people; see letter to Charles Boner, 20 January [1870]). There is a copy in the Darwin Library–Down. This sentence of the letter, which survives only as a published transcription, may have come from a letter written after Boner’s letter of 8 January 1870, in which he told CD he was sending the book. See Correspondence vol. 19, letter from R. M. Kettle, 10 March [1871], for Rosa Mackenzie Kettle’s request to use some sentences of CD’s in Kettle ed. 1871.


Boner, Charles. 1860. Chamois hunting in the mountains of Bavaria and the Tyrol. New edition. London: Chapman and Hall.

Boner, Charles. 1861. Forest creatures. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts.

Boner, Charles. 1865. Transylvania: its products and its people. London: Longman, Green, Reader and Dyer.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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

Kettle, Rosa Mackenzie ed. 1871. Memoirs and letters of Charles Boner. 2 vols. London: R. Bentley.


Has received [read?] CB’s two works [Chamois hunting in the mountains of Bavaria (2d ed., 1860) and Forest creatures (1871)] and has made use of them in his present book [Descent].

CB’s descriptions of the Tyrol make CD long to be "strong and young again to ramble over the mountains".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Boner
Sent from
Source of text
Kettle ed. 1871, p. 77

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7073,” accessed on 19 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18