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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. L. Brunton   9 March 1874

23 Somerset St. Portman Sq | London W.

March 9th. 1874

Dear Sir

Many thanks for your kind letter & for the consideration you have given to my speculations.1 It has since occurred to me that the worship of the serpent as a beneficent deity may have been simply the result of great fear or rather I should say that the term “good” as applied to it may have thus originated just as the appellation “good people” was applied to the fairies by the Scotch simply from the fear of awakening their animosity by calling them bad. After some time the term itself might begin to influence peoples minds and the actual reason for applying it being forgotten they would come to regard the serpent as actualy good. I am glad to think you do not consider my notion regarding the two sides of the face to be erroneous, I will try & collect some more facts regarding it.2

I hope in the course of a few months to be able to investigate the nutritive powers of chondrin as compared with those of gelatine and as so as I make anything out I will let you know,3 I would set about the research at once but have several on hand at present in an unfinished condition. I need scarcely say that I shall be proud & happy to make your acquaintance & shall be delighted if you will do me the honour of calling upon me when you come to London

Believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | T Lauder Brunton

Charles Darwin Esq


CD was interested in the relative nutritional values of gelatine and chondrin (hydrolysed forms of collagen); see letter to T. L. Brunton, 4 March 1874 and n. 4.


Writes on the possible origin of serpent-worship.

Is glad CD does not think his view regarding the two sides of the face is erroneous.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Lauder Brunton, 1st baronet
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Somerset St, 23
Source of text
DAR 160: 338
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9345,” accessed on 1 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22