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Darwin Correspondence Project

To P. L. Sclater   9 November 1870

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Nov 9. 1870

My dear Mr Sclater

Your offer is most generous & wd. be an immense benefit for my book.1 But you do not know what you are offering; there are about 200 pages, of the size of my origin, on birds. I have corrected half of them in slips, & when in sheets they wd be much better for you to read, though there wd be the great disadvantage that I cd not without strong cause, make great alterations. There wd be hardly any thing new to you in any part, & you cd in most cases be able give much better illustrations than I have been able to do. Therefore considering every thing, unless you renew yr offer, I will assume that you have not time to read through so many pages; but in this case I will most gladly accept yr offer of correcting another list of names.

With very sincere thanks | yours very truly | Ch. Darwin

P.S. I have recd Mr Hudson’s proof sheets but have not yet had time to read them—2

The only possible interest my 4 chapters on Birds cd. have for you is the collection of facts on some trifling points, all relating more or less to sex.


Sclater’s letter has not been found, but see the letter to P. L. Sclater, 4 November [1870]. Sclater had evidently offered to check the page proofs of the sections on birds in Descent, rather than just lists of names, as CD had suggested.
CD presumably refers to the later parts of William Henry Hudson’s letters to the Zoological Society of London on the ornithology of Buenos Aires (Hudson 1870). See letter to P. L. Sclater, 30 August [1870].


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

Hudson, William Henry. 1870. On the ornithology of Buenos Ayres. [Letters from W. H. Hudson to the Zoological Society of London read 10 and 24 February, 24 March, 26 May, 23 June, 1 and 15 November, and 6 December 1870] Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1870): 87–9, 112–14, 158–60, 332–4, 545–50, 671–3, 748–50, 798–802.


Thanks PLS for his generous offer to go over the part on birds [in Descent]. Does not think PLS realises that there are more than 200 pages – most of which will have nothing new for him.

W. H. Hudson’s proofs have arrived ["Letters on the ornithology of Buenos Ayres", Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. (1870): 87–9, 158–60, 332–4, 545–50, 671–3, 748–50, 798–82; (1871): 4–7, 258–62, 326–9].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Philip Lutley Sclater
Sent from
Source of text
Zoological Society of London (GB 0814 BADD (Darwin))
Physical description
LS(A) 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7362,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

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