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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. T. Knowles   4 August 1874

per | The Hollies | Clapham Common | S.W

Augt 4th. 1874

Dear Sir/

I so very much regret being unable to act on your suggestion to republish Prof. Whitney’s article.1 Nothing would be more pleasant to us than to print anything which you think worth recommendation— But unfortunately not only would it be against the business interests of the Review to give anything already printed but for the Contemporary it would be perhaps more than usually difficult as we have a considerable American circulation—

I wish however that you could yourself be prevailed upon to give in your own name any sort or kind of reply to the Quarterly critic (either directly or indirectly) which might seem well to you.2 In the course of any such reply I would venture to suggest that you might quote from Prof. Whitney’s article—to any extent which you might like—

The subject is in itself still freshly full of interest—and I should be so extremely glad if you would practically illustrate your kind & complimentary phrase about the Contemporary by condescending to occupy a place in its pages—

I am dear Sir | Yours very truly | James Knowles

To/ Charles Darwin Esq—


CD had asked Knowles, the editor of the Contemporary Review, whether he would republish an essay review of Friedrich Max Müller’s ‘Lectures on Mr. Darwin’s philosophy of language’, by William Dwight Whitney, from the North American Review (see letter to J. T. Knowles, 31 July 1874).
St George Jackson Mivart, in an anonymous review of works by John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor in the Quarterly Review, had accused CD of ignorance of some elementary distinctions in the study of language ([Mivart] 1874, p. 45; see letter to J. T. Knowles, 31 July 1874).


[Mivart, St George Jackson.] 1874b. Primitive man: Tylor and Lubbock. [Essay review of the works of John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor.] Quarterly Review 137 (1874): 40–77.


Regrets he is unable to republish Whitney’s article in the Contemporary Review. Would much appreciate an article from CD on the subject and suggests that CD might quote from Whitney to any extent he likes.

Letter details

Letter no.
James Thomas Knowles
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Clapham Common
Source of text
DAR 169: 41
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9582,” accessed on 14 May 2021,

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