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Darwin Correspondence Project

To P. L. Sclater   29 December [1870]

Down. | Beckenham. | Kent. S.E.

Dec. 29th

My dear Mr Sclater

I am infinitely obliged for all your corrections, but it is a horrid shame to spoil even an hour of your holidays, for holidays must, I am sure, be rare with you.—1

I had some misgivings about the Moschidæ.—2

It is rather a bad job about the woodcut. It wd. drive Murray mad, if I proposed to delay for a new woodcut, though it is very kind in you to propose to help me in this manner.—

I will append, beneath the cut, as follows, in parenthesis

(I find that this drawing represents the head of a female, but it serves to show on a reduced scale the characters, of the male.)3

If I do not hear from you, I will assume that this parenthesis is correct & will insert it— I was at the time rather surprised that the tusks were not larger, but supposed the drawing was of rather young male. One & 12 or 34 sheets will I believe complete your labours.—

Yours most heartily obliged | Ch. Darwin

I will send next sheets, when received, to Hanover Sqe, marked “to be forwarded”.—4

What a rich & capital volume the last in your Proceedings—5


See letters to P. L. Sclater, 5 December 1870 and n. 1, and 26 December [1870]. Sclater presumably made his corrections directly on the proof-sheets of Descent.
Moschidae is the family of musk deer. CD mentioned Moschus moschiferus in Descent 2: 280.
CD refers to his publisher, John Murray, and to the woodcut of the head of an Ethiopian warthog (Descent 2: 265 fig. 65). The text in parentheses was inserted as CD suggested.
The headquarters of the Zoological Society of London were in Hanover Square.
CD refers to the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London.


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


CD is obliged for PLS’s correction [of Descent proofs]. Will add a caption to the woodcut [of the wart-hog] since it is too late to make a new one.

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 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7403,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

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