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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Albert Günther   6 February 1875

British Museum | Zoological Department

Febr. 6. 1875

My dear Mr. Darwin

You have always taken such a friendly interest in my progress in life that I cannot allow a day to pass without giving you the news of my appointment to the keepership.1 It is a step which will be the last & most important in my life, as the post will give me as much work as I am able to perform, and as much honour as satisfies my ambition.

Fred. Smith is to be my successor; and if a man ever merited recognition by faithful service, he is F. Smith.2

With kind regards to Mrs Darwin | Yours ever truly | A Günther


Günther was promoted from assistant keeper to keeper of zoology at the British Museum following the retirement of John Edward Gray (ODNB).
Frederick Smith had chosen not to compete against Günther for the post of assistant keeper in 1872, which Günther had regarded as an act of unselfishness on Smith’s part (see Correspondence vol. 20, letter from Albert Günther, 14 May 1872).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Has been appointed to a Keepership at British Museum.

Letter details

Letter no.
Albrecht Carl Ludwig Gotthilf (Albert) Günther
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Zoological Department, British Museum
Source of text
DAR 165: 256
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9842,” accessed on 26 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23