skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. W. Reade   31 January 1871

11 Saint Mary Abbot’s Terrace, | Kensington. W.

31st. Jan. ’71

My dear Sir

I called on the editor of the P.M. Gazette when I got up to town this morning. Your book has been already bagged by some earlier sportsman— Whether Lewes or not, he did not say: but probably he is the man—1

I am rather disappointed, but am certainly not competent to review the book: but then very few writers on the P.M.G or any other newspaper are: & I shd. certainly have taken pains with it.

I am very much obliged to you for giving me the pleasure of your personal acquaintance; your book—the Origin—has had considerable influence on my mind. If I had read it earlier in life it might have completely changed the course of it. So naturally I looked forward to seeing you with something more than the ordinary curiosity & interest one feels in every celebrated man.2

I hope when any fresh inquiry occurs to you, you will forward it to me— Your questions even when I cant answer them, always set me thinking—& open my mind to fresh fields of thought & pastures new—

With regards to Mrs. Darwin | believe me | Yours very truly | Winwood Reade


John Morley, not George Henry Lewes, reviewed Descent anonymously in the Pall Mall Gazette on 20 and 21 March 1871 ([Morley] 1871a; see letter from John Morley, 26 March 1871). The editor of the Pall Mall Gazette was Frederick Greenwood.
Reade had visited Down with Joseph Dalton Hooker, Albert Günther, and Robert Swinhoe from 28 to 30 January 1871 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


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


Thinks G. H. Lewes will review Descent in Pall Mall Gazette.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Winwood Reade
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 176: 44
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7468,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19