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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Leonard Darwin   11 July [1872]1


July 11th.

My dear Leonard,


Please remember that I do not want more alterations than necessary. I believe everyone (I know that I do) falls into the error that any alteration seems at first an improvement   Many times have I altered a sentence, and then gone back to the old form. Please make any corrections in pencil, or, if it be long in ink (if you like) on slips pinned to sheet   But I hope that you will not find much to alter, as I took much pains over this chapter   I am very much obliged to you for looking it over.

Yours affectn. | C. Darwin


The year is established from handwritten notes on the copy suggesting that this letter was written when Leonard was reading proof-sheets of Expression, which was published in November 1872 (Freeman 1977). See also this volume, Supplement, letter to Leonard Darwin, 26 July [1872]; the two letters were copied on the same sheet. Henrietta Emma Litchfield also read the proof-sheets of Expression (see Correspondence vol. 20, letter to H. E. Litchfield, 25 July 1872).


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


CD wants no more alterations than are necessary [to proofs of Expression]. Warns LD that "any alteration seems at first an improvement".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Leonard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 153: 90
Physical description
C 1p inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8404,” accessed on 29 May 2023,