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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. W. Reade   26 June 1873


June 26.—73

My dear Sir

I leave England to day for Egypt & the East; I am tired of inaction: and shall not forget the Darwinian problems in my travels; I am sorry I shall not be able to hear your opinion about the passage in the Appendix relating to yourself;1 however it was not gone into properly: that I shall defer till my return which may be some time hence— I assure you it will always be a matter of pride & pleasure to me that 〈I〉 have known you & I only wished I cd. have 〈colle〉cted more information for you—

I remain | yours very truly | Winwood Reade


Appendix III of Reade’s African sketch-book (W. W. Reade 1873) discussed racial characteristics and standards of beauty in different African peoples. He supported CD’s argument that sexual selection had contributed to the physical differences between human races, but argued that blackness of skin was probably caused by climate (W. W. Reade 1873, 2: 522–3). For CD’s discussion of skin colour, see Descent 2: 346–7.


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

Reade, William Winwood. 1873. The African sketch-book. 2 vols. London: Smith, Elder, and Co.


Is tired of inaction and so is leaving for Egypt and the East.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Winwood Reade
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 176: 68
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8953,” accessed on 1 March 2021,

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