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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   [8 August 1874]1

[Bassett, Southampton.]


My dear George.—

Your letter seems to me very good & your present plan removes all my objections.—2 I thank you for your very nice letter to me.—3 It is very strange about your health; but I apprehend the reason is pretty clear that the kidneys are now removing poison from your blood.— I will alter the first sentence in my letter to to Murray & make my letter less imperious.4 It will be a dreadful evil to me, if, as is too likely, we come to a quarrel.—

Yours affect | C. Darwin

Write to Clowes for Proof to be sent here5

Mother, also, likes your letter much.— William has not yet read it.6


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. Darwin, 6 [August] 1874. In 1874, the Saturday after 6 August was 8 August.
See letter from G. H. Darwin, 6 [August] 1874. George had enclosed a letter to be forwarded to John Murray, the publisher of the Quarterly Review, defending himself against accusations made against him in an anonymous article ([Mivart] 1874; George’s defence appeared in the Quarterly Review 137 (1874): 587–9).
CD probably refers to a letter sent to him via Emma Darwin; see letter from G. H. Darwin, [6 or 7 August 1874].
George had suggested that CD avoid risking a break with Murray over his dispute; see letter from G. H. Darwin, [6 or 7 August 1874]. For CD’s original letter, with George’s amendments, see the enclosure to the letter from G. H. Darwin, 6 [August] 1874; for the letter as sent, see the letter to John Murray, 11 August 1874.
CD probably refers to the proof-sheets of Descent (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 29 July 1874).
CD and his wife, Emma, were staying with their son William Erasmus Darwin.


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

[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.


Approves of GHD’s letter [to Q. Rev. 137 (1874): 587–9] and his present plan, which removes all CD’s objections. Will make his own letter to Murray less imperious. "It will be a dreadful evil to me, if … we come to a quarrel."

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.1: 31
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9596,” accessed on 22 May 2022,

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