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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Boner   8 January 1870


January 8. 1870

My dear Sir,

I need hardly say that it gave me very particular satisfaction to hear that a book of mine had afforded you some information worthy your attention.1 It pleased me, too, to know that the Chamois Hunting interested you and awakened in you a wish for mountain air & mountain scenery. There is nothing like it.

It is very grievous that you should be in such a state of health as you describe.2 I am sorry to hear of it, and can well sympathise with you as I have myself been since many month suffering much pain from a severe attack of Sciatic, which has left behind all sorts of ills, among others a state of the muscles & nerves of the thighs, which makes it almost impossible for me to move about. For one who hitherto was as healthy as an oak tree, & for whom no fatigue was too great, to be chained thus like a prisoner is a sad trial. What must be so painful for you is the inability to work. One grieves at evey moment lost, especially when, as in your case, there is so much to be accomplished; thoughts, views, opinions, discoveries that one wishes still to be able to record. And unfortunately the excitement which this inability to work must cause, can do you no good, but harm rather, as it irritates continually. I sincerely hope that your illness may leave you hope of ultimate, of speedy, recovery. Independent of the sympathy one may feel for you individually, we are all interested in your getting well & strong again, for much as you have already given to Science, we are greedy for additional contributions

As you were so obliging to say that the Chamois book had interested you, I have presumed to send you a volume about a country which possibly may not be well known to you, & which is in many respects very interesting.3 Perhaps sometimes when you can do nothing else, when you are unable to work and still would care to have some light occupation, you might in one or other of the pages of “Transylvania” find a subject-matter that amused you, and thus helped to while away a weary hour. Were it to be so I should be more glad than I can say.

There are some few notices which I collected about the gypsies that to me seemed curious. Perhaps you may find them so too.

I should not have ventured to offer you anything of such small worth as a book of mine, had it not seemed to me by your letter that the 2 volumes you had read had really interested you.

With very sincere wishes for improvement in your health | Believe me, dear Sir, | Your faithful servant | Charles Boner.

To Charles Darwin, Esq | &c &c &c


This information was probably in a part of CD’s letter to Boner of [before 8 January 1870] that has not been preserved.


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


Is glad CD liked Chamois hunting [in Bavaria (1853, 1860)].

Regrets CD’s poor health.

Sends his book, Transylvania [1865].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Boner
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 160: 239
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7074,” accessed on 17 April 2021,

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