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Darwin Correspondence Project

To P. L. Sclater   21 November [1870]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 21

My dear Mr Sclater

I send today two sheets, but the first few pages do not relate to Birds. I hope the corrections will not much interfere with the facity of reading.2

Kindly look to footnotes, as they often include names. If you find only names to correct (which is almost too good to be hoped for) please return the sheets to Messrs. Clowes, whose address is given at foot of first page, as this will save time.3 If there are more serious corrections please return the sheets here

You will save me from making many disgraceful misspellings, which would have been widely spread, for 5 foreign editions are now preparing.4

Yours very gratefully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to P. L. Sclater, 9 November 1870.
Sclater had offered to read the proof-sheets of the sections of Descent concerning birds and mammals (see letter to P. L. Sclater, 11 November [1870] and n. 2.
William Clowes & Sons were printing Descent.
Descent was being translated into German by Julius Victor Carus (Carus trans. 1871; see letter from J. V. Carus, 2 October 1870); into French by Jean Jacques Moulinié (Moulinié trans. 1872; see letter to John Murray, 26 September 1870); into Russian by Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 22 November 1870; this translation was never published); and into Dutch by Hermanus Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen (Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen trans. 1871–2; see letter from Hermanus Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen, 27 November 1870). A US edition was also being prepared (Descent US ed.; see letter from Asa Gray, 14 February 1870 and n. 5; letters from E. L. Youmans, 25 September 1870).


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

Descent US ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. New York: D. Appleton. 1871.


Sends two sheets [of Descent] for correction of names of birds. PLS will save him many disgraceful misspellings. Descent now being prepared in five foreign editions.

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
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7379,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

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