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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Maw   13 July [1861]1

2. Hesketh Crescent | Torquay

July 13th

Dear Sir

Your kind note & Review2 & Uriconium3 have been forwarded from my home & have reached me here today.— I have cut the pages & have glanced over the pages (which shall hereafter be carefully studied) & can see that all your criticisms are written in a perfectly fair & kind tone. I thank you sincerely. I will not trouble you with any discussion, but will consider all your points.

I think it is a pity to mingle science & religion;4 but that you say you have done from conscience; & I entirely believe you.— I did not enter on case of man, from its extraordinary difficulty & from believing that the case of man will follow that of other animals, whenever my views are finally rejected or admitted.— This rejection or admission will require, I have always seen & I now see still more plainly, many years.—

My opponents would have lost nothing if they had all treated me as fairly as you seem to have done.

With my sincere thanks | pray believe me | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


The endorsement is confirmed by the reference to Maw’s papers (see nn. 2 and 3, below).
Maw’s letter to CD has not been found. His review of Origin appeared in the July 1861 issue of the Zoologist (Maw 1861a). There is a heavily annotated copy of the review in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. See letter to George Maw, 19 July [1861] and CD note.
Uriconium was the name of a Roman settlement, near Wroxeter in Shropshire, which was currently undergoing excavation. Maw, who lived nearby, was greatly interested in antiquarian subjects. He probably sent CD a copy of his article on the mosaic pavements found at this site (Maw 1861b).
Maw accused CD of escaping responsibility for having produced a theory opposed to revelation by his use of generalisations and a kind of ‘sentimental theology’ (Maw 1861a, pp. 7609–10).


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Thanks GM for his fair review [of Origin, Zoologist 19 (1861): 7577–611].

Feels it is a pity to mingle science and religion;

explains why he did not deal with the case of man.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Maw
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library (MAW/1/5)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3208,” accessed on 17 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9