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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Thomas Campbell Eyton   4 August [1858]1

Norfolk House | Shanklin | I. of Wight.

Aug 4th

Dear Eyton

Your note has been forwarded here, where we are established for a short time for health sake.—2 I thank you very truly for taking the trouble of sending me the reference; I think I am acquainted with them but will take your note home & then see. I am heartily glad to hear of your two intended publications.3 That on skeletons of Birds will, I presume, be a laborious undertaking. Just before I left home I broke ground on the skeletons of Pigeons; ie I arranged them preparatory to comparison;4 I daresay I may have to consult you on this subject; & if so I trust to your kindness to assist me.—

I am, also, employed in drawing up a long abstract on my notions about Species & Varieties, to be read in parts before Linnean Socy. Whenever it is published late in the autumn, I will send you a copy. My bigger Book will not be out for some two or three years.—

With many thanks.— Believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


Dated by CD’s visit to the Isle of Wight (see n. 2, below).
CD visited the Isle of Wight with his family from 17 July to 13 August 1858 (‘Journal’; Appendix II).
Eyton 1858, and possibly the second part of Eyton 1856–8.
CD had prepared skeletons of all the major breeds of pigeons to illustrate their differences. See Variation 1: 162–79.


Eyton, Thomas Campbell. 1856–8. A catalogue of the species of birds in his possession.2 pts. Wellington, Shropshire.

Eyton, Thomas Campbell. 1858. A history of the oyster and the oyster fisheries. London.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Has finished arranging his pigeons’ skeletons. May consult TCE on them.

CD is at work on an abstract of his conclusions on species and varieties [Origin]. His "bigger book" [Natural selection] will take two or three more years.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Campbell Eyton
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.156)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2319,” accessed on 28 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7