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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Cupples   20 June 1870

The Cottage, | Guard Bridge, Fifeshire, | N.B.

June 20/70.

My Dear Mr Darwin,

I write merely to show that I am keeping fully in mind about the Deerhound puppy, with regard to which I can now engage pretty definitely.1 After an unusual delay in the arrangements of the dogs among themselves, I am now able to count on a litter of puppies by the 15th. August—in which case they will be, I think, the very best I have ever bred, grey in colour, large, and rough. I shall select a dog-puppy, keep it for about 8 weeks, and then send it to you. This will bring it to about the middle of October, at the best age for training to the habits desired. The mild climate of Kent will help it to get strength for the winter. In due time, along with the puppy, I will send full particulars for management &c.

I hope you are now again at the seaside, or somewhere else, recruiting.

I may add that I have from time to time full confirmation of my previous statement that dogs in breeding form decided preferences towards each other—often being influenced by size, bright colour, and individual character, as well as the foregoing degree of their familiarity with each other.2 So undoubtedly, to some extent, with poultry—as stated in the article I sent you from All-the-Year-Round, whose assertions in that respect I could have corroborated from actual observation.3

With best regards I am | Dear Mr Darwin | ever truly yours | George Cupples

Chas. Darwin, Esqr. | Down.

CD annotations

1.1 I write … &c. 1.9] crossed pencil


See letter from George Cupples, 29 April 1870. No intervening letter from CD has been found.
See Correspondence vol. 16, letters from George Cupples, 11–13 May 1868, third enclosure, and 26 May 1868.
CD discussed the courtship of fowls in Descent 2: 117, but did not mention Cupples or the article from All the Year Round. The article was presumably ‘Cocks and hens’, All the Year Round, 14 November 1863, pp. 276–83, in which the anonymous author discussed, amongst other things, the preferences of cocks and hens for one another.


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.


Will send CD a deerhound puppy.

Reaffirms his statement that dogs in breeding form decided preferences toward each other, based on size, colour, or character.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Cupples
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Guard Bridge
Source of text
DAR 83: 142–3
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7237,” accessed on 2 March 2021,

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