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Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. J. Allman   4 November 1871

15 Campden Hill Road | Kensington,

Nov 4 1871

My dear Sir

I learn from Mr. Busk that you are just now engaged in collecting such new facts as may bear on the origin of specific forms.1 I cannot say that I have any facts to offer you, but some new views which have struck me while recently engaged in the study of graptolites in connexion with their hydroid affinities may interest you. They will appear in the second part of my Monograph on the Tubularian hydroids, but as it will be some time yet before the publication of this tract, I send you some proof sheets in which you will find a statement of the views to which I refer. I have marked in the margin the passages which more especially bear on the question of the descent of our existing hydroids from the ancient graptolites.2

Do not take the trouble to return the proofs but if you have any suggestions which may occur to you on this subject I should be greatly obliged by a line from you

Believe me | very sincerely yours | Geo J. Allman

Ch. Darwin Esq

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Answered’ pencil3


George Busk had provided CD with information on Polyzoa (now Ectoprocta (bryozoans) and Endoprocta) for the sixth edition of Origin (see letter from George Busk, 10 September 1871).
The possible descent of living hydroids from graptolites is discussed in Allman 1871–2, 2: 176–83. Graptolites are now classed in the phylum Hemichordata and thought to be most closely allied to Pterobranchia. The proofs have not been found. As a member of the Ray Society, CD received a copy of the book; it is in the Darwin Library–Down.
CD’s reply to Allman has not been found.


Allman, George James. 1871–2. A monograph of the gymnoblastic or tubularian hydroids. 2 vols. London: Ray Society.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Learned of CD’s interest in new facts bearing on origins of specific forms and sends proof sheets of his Monograph on tubularian hydroids [1871–2] stating his views on the descent of existing hydroids from ancient graptolites.

Letter details

Letter no.
George James Allman
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Campden Hill Rd, 15
Source of text
DAR 159: 53
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8050,” accessed on 15 May 2021,

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