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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. W. Reade   31 August [1873]1

171 Stanhope St. | Euston Road | NW

Aug. 31.

My dear Sir

Very many thanks for your kind letter.2 There is no doubt that the tales were a mistake & the book is altogether too flimsy. I think I shall recompose it for a cheap edition, & merely write a narrative of my exploring journey, working in ethnological matter &c.3 However that will not be just yet   I shall have another book on Africa to write first in all probability as I am going to the Ashanti War as special correspondent for the Times, leaving Liverpool on the 12th.— They give me £50 a month & my expenses, & power to republish. I suppose I shall be back in the spring at furthest—4

I think I am now acquainted with all the Darwinian points but if there is any new line of inquiry you can suggest, pray do so, and oblige me | your faithful disciple | Winwood Reade


The year is established by the reference to Reade 1873 (see n. 3, below).
CD’s letter has not been found, but see letter from W. W. Reade, 29 August 1873.
CD had probably commented on Reade’s African sketch-book (W. W. Reade 1873), which was published in June 1873 (Publishers’ Circular, 17 June 1873, p. 413; see letter from W. W. Reade, 14 May 1873 and n. 9). Reade had added a number of fictional stories intended to illustrate native customs to his otherwise factual account of his own travels (see W. W. Reade 1873, p. v). A cheap, revised edition was never published.
Reade covered the third Anglo-Ashanti war (1873–4) in west Africa for The Times from November 1873 and fought in the battle of Amoaful in January 1874 (DNB).


DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

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


Going to the Ashanti war as Times correspondent.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Winwood Reade
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Stanhope St, 171
Source of text
DAR 176: 70
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9036,” accessed on 15 January 2021,

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