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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hermann Hoffmann   20 April [1871]1

Down. | Beckenham Kent S.E.

April 20th.

Dear Sir.

I am greatly obliged to you for your very interesting letter & for the various facts which you kindly communicate to me.—2 My daughter has a little dog who acts something like yours but is not so accomplished a hypocrite;3 he likes lying on her bed, & when he hears her coming up-stairs, jumps off & settles on his own bed but does not pretend to be asleep.—

I have also to thank you for the number of the Bot Zeitung with your very curious experiments on the influence of the period of fertilisation on sex; I hope that you will continue these observations—4 I am convinced such experimental researches as these, & those on the struggle between different kinds of weeds, are of the highest value for natural science— And how few naturalists undertake such work!

with sincere respect & thanks— I remain. Dear Sir. | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Hermann Hoffmann, 17 April 1871.
CD probably refers to Henrietta Emma Darwin and her dog Polly (Atkins 1974, p. 78).
CD refers to Hoffmann 1852 and 1871. CD’s annotated copies are in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


Atkins, Hedley J. B. 1974. Down, the home of the Darwins: the story of a house and the people who lived there. London: Royal College of Surgeons.

Hoffmann, Hermann. 1852. Pflanzenverbreitung und Pflanzenwanderung, eine botanische geographische Untersuchung. Darmstadt: G. Jonghaus.


Obliged for letter about dog.

Comments on HH’s article ["Zur Geschlechtsbestimmung", Bot. Ztg. 29 (1871): 81–9, 97–109].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Karl Heinrich Hermann (Hermann) Hoffmann
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 145: 133
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7702,” accessed on 29 March 2020,

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