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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C. L. Sutherland   12 September 1872

West Market Place | Cirencester.

12th. September 72.

Dear Mr. Darwin.

According to promise I sent for a copy of my friend Ayraults book on Mule Breeding in the Poitou.1 By careful selection a most extraordinary—in fact an almost abnormal race of Asses has been produced, which are kept solely for breeding Mules.

I shall be shortly writing to Ayrault & I know he will be delighted to hear that you are the recipient of one of his books, a few of which he gave me for distribution when I was at Niort in May last.2

I hope you are as well as when I had the pleasure of seeing you in June last & with my compliments to Mrs. Darwin3 | I remain | Yours very truly | Charles L Sutherland

I have thought that possibly the enclosed photograph of our mutual friend Tegetmeier & myself examining a pigeon Voyageur Belge, might amuse you.4


There is a lightly annotated copy of Ayrault 1867 in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 24).
Eugène Ayrault lived in Niort, a town in Western France.
Sutherland visited Down in June 1872 (see letter from C. L. Sutherland, [9–19 June 1872] and n. 2).
The photograph of Sutherland with William Bernhard Tegetmeier appears in Correspondence vol. 6, facing p. 193 (see also Richardson 1916, facing p. 63). Pigeon voyageur: carrier pigeon (French).


Ayrault, Eugène. 1867. De l’industrie mulassière en Poitou. Niort: L. Clouzot.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Richardson, Edmund William. 1916. A veteran naturalist; being the life and work of W. B. Tegetmeier. London: Witherby & Co.


Sends CD a book on mule breeding in Poitou [Eugène Ayrault, De l’industrie mulassière en Poitou (1867)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Leslie Sutherland
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 177: 320
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8518,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20