skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   25 April [1871]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

April 25

My dear Sir

A friend sent me the Field with the notice of my book: I quite understand that it would not do for the Field to enter into offensive or controversial points. Many thanks for your remarks & shd be truly grateful for any additional ones, as I well know how accurate an observer you are.—2

One other gentleman gives me his own case of beard darker than hair; but he says he has long attended to this point & is certain it is extremely rare: he says he inherits his beard from maternal side & colour of eyes & hair from paternal side.—3 I have, also, discovered my error about the platysma & corrected it.—4

From particular reason I was very glad to hear about the cowardly game cocks & shall use this little fact.—5

With thanks for your often given assistance— Believe me | Yours very faithfully | Ch Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Wood, 6 April 1871.
The Field published a review of Descent on 18 March 1871, p. 210. The anonymous reviewer wrote: In noticing these remarkable volumes, we have no desire to enter into the contest that their publication is certain to excite. We might have quoted from them at much greater length had we been desirous of so doing; but all that we have aimed at has been to call the attention of our readers to the scope of the book, and to furnish them with a brief outline of its general argument. CD’s copy is in DAR 226.2: 79. CD probably also refers to the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, [before 25 April 1871], which is incomplete.
The cowardly gamecocks were probably mentioned in the missing portion of the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, [before 25 April 1871]. CD wrote about courageous gamecocks in Descent 2: 44, but does not write about cowardly birds.


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


Has read the Field review of Descent ["Darwin on the descent of man", 37 (1871): 210]. Thanks WBT for his remarks.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7713,” accessed on 5 March 2024,

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