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Darwin Correspondence Project

To F. B. Goodacre   11 February [1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb. 11th

Dear Sir

Your proposition seems an excellent one. If, for instance, a room in the B. Museum were set apart for mounted specs. of all the dom. animals & Birds it would be vy valuable & I believe vy popular.2 But the older naturalists wd. despise such a collection. Even in the Zoolog. Garden. varieties, however remarkable, are excluded.

With respect to Plants, the collection if universal, wd be so gigantic that hardly anyone wd ever examine it; & they could be presered ony in dry state. At Kew there is a collection of the seeds of vars. but solely under an economical point of view. It wd. be impossible to exhibit with vy many of the most valuable cultivated plants & dom. animals, the primitive types, as these are unknown, in most cases, as I firmly believe, for having been so much modified. I think “Nature” (published by MacMillan Bedford sq, Covent Garden) wd. be much the best periodical for your letter; though of course I do not know whether it wd. be admitted— You are quite at liberty to state that such a collection, as you propose, wd. be in my opinion, very valuable & interesting;3 but I shd. not wish for other parts of this hasty letter to be quoted.— I am forced to write hastily, as my correspondence is so large.—

Pray forgive me, & accept my best thanks for your interesting & kind letter, & believe me | Dear sir | Yours vy faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from F. B. Goodacre, 7 February 1873.
Goodacre quoted this part of CD’s sentence in a letter published in Country: a Journal of Rural Pursuits, 15 May 1873, pp. 8–9.


Thinks FBG’s idea of a room at the British Museum of domestic birds and animals an excellent one, but a collection of plants would be much more difficult.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Burges Goodacre
Sent from
Source of text
John Goodacre (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8763F,” accessed on 15 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21