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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Haeckel   3 March [1864]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Mar 3.

My dear Sir

I received a week since your most kind present of your work on Radiolariæ. It is one of the most magnificent works which I have ever seen, & I am proud to possess a copy from the author.2

It is very interesting & instructive to study your admirably executed drawings; for I had no idea that animals of such low organization could develope such extremely beautiful structures.—3

I hope you are able to work hard on science & thus banish, as far as may be possible, painful remembrances.4

With cordial thanks for your magnificent present, & with sincere respect | Believe me my dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Haeckel, 2 January 1864.
Haeckel had earlier offered to send CD a copy of his monograph Die Radiolarien (Haeckel 1862), in which he first publicly endorsed CD’s theory (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Ernst Haeckel, 30 December [1863] – 3 January [1864], and this volume, letter from Ernst Haeckel, 2 January 1864 and n. 3). CD’s copy of Haeckel 1862 is in the Darwin Library–Down (see Marginalia 1: 360).
Haeckel’s wife, Anna Sethe, died on 16 February 1864 (see Uschmann 1984, p. 83, and letter from Ernst Haeckel, 10 August 1864). It is not known how CD learned of her death.


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

Haeckel, Ernst. 1862. Die Radiolarien. (Rhizopoda Radiaria.) Eine Monographie. 2 vols. Berlin: Georg Reimer.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Uschmann, Georg. 1984. Ernst Haeckel. Biographie in Briefen. Gütersloh: Prisma Verlag.


Has received EH’s Die Radiolarien. Drawings admirably executed. Had no idea such low animals could develop such beautiful structures.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Sent from
Source of text
Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A–Abt. 1: 1–52/2)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4419,” accessed on 25 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12