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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Owen   [21 April 1846]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Owen

I am very anxious to have to have ten minutes talk with you, chiefly about the mammifers of the Plata,2 & will call on you on Thursday morning at about ten oclock, if you will excuse so early an hour. If you cannot see me, perhaps you wd be so kind as to send me a line to save me trouble to, “7 Park St Grosvenor Sqr

I have commenced your British Fossils3 with very great interest

Most truly yours | C. Darwin


The conjectured date is based on CD’s record of having finished reading Owen’s British fossil mammals (R. Owen 1846c) on 9 May 1846 (DAR 119; Vorzimmer 1977, p. 135) and on a visit to London recorded in CD’s Account Book (Down House MS) on Thursday, 23 April.
CD may have sought the interview to go over his summary of ‘Localities within the region of the Pampas where great bones have been found’ (South America, pp. 106–7). See also letter from G. R. Waterhouse, [30 March 1846].
R. Owen 1846c. CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL.


South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.

Vorzimmer, Peter J. 1977. The Darwin reading notebooks (1838-1860). Journal of the History of Biology 10: 107–53.


Asks to visit RO to talk about mammifers of the [Rio] Plata.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Owen
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.48)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 959,” accessed on 16 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3