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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Alfred Newton   30 May [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

May 30th

My dear Prof. Newton

Very many thanks for your facts & correction. The case of the gull must come out.2 Oh Lord how difficult accuracy is! Yesterday we had a letter from Frank, groaning in spirit at the thoughts that it was his last term in Cambridge, which is dear also to me.—3

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Alfred Newton, 29 May 1871.
The reference to the gull is in a missing portion of the letter from Alfred Newton, 29 May 1871. In Descent 2: 108 n. 9, CD reported a case of apparent reasoning in a gull; this was removed in the second edition.
The letter from Francis Darwin has not been found. See letter from Alfred Newton, 29 May 1871 and n. 2.


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


Thanks AN for facts and corrections [for Descent].

The case of the gull must come out [Descent 2: 108 n. 9]. "Oh Lord, how difficult accuracy is!"

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Newton
Sent from
Source of text
Cambridge University Library (MS Add. 9839/1D/59)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7781,” accessed on 25 October 2021,

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