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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. B. Tegetmeier   [before 21 December 1864]1

Muswell Hill | London | N

My dear Sir

I have taken the liberty to forward you by this post a copy of the Intellectual Observer containing an article of mine on mimetic analogy—2 The only merit that it can lay claim to, is the endeavour to make the subject known beyond the circle of strictly scientific readers,

As I have since seen a leader in a daily paper in which a conservative is denounced as having mimicked a liberal and the proceeding is illustrated by an allusion to the Theory of Mimetics3 I suppose 〈several words missing〉 missed my 〈several words missing

My mongrel 〈two or three words missing〉 still progressing but 〈two or three words missing〉 sign of sterility even in the 〈two words missing〉 crosses between the most dista〈nt〉 varieties.4 Still I have worked out some curious results as to variations, and I think I shall embody them in a short paper this season—5

I hope your health is improving—I beg you will n〈ot〉 trouble to write a reply to this unless you can do so without an〈y〉 effort.

Believe me | Very sincerely You〈rs〉 | W. B. Teget〈meier〉

C Darwin Esq

PS. | Should you at any time come across the two or three remaining poultry skulls, I shall be glad of them, but there is no hurry.6


The date is established by the reference to Tegetmeier 1864 (see n. 2, below), and by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 21 December [1864].
Tegetmeier 1864. CD’s annotated copy of this article is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. The article discussed the work of Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Walter Bates, and other writers on mimetic analogy, concluding on page 313 that: ‘By the Darwinian Theory of Natural Selection, the explanation of these remarkable analogies is sufficiently easy.’ For CD’s interest in the topic, see his unsigned review of Bates 1861 (‘Review of Bates on mimetic butterflies’), and Origin 4th ed., pp. 502–6.
The newspaper article has not been identified.
See letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 1 February 1864 and nn. 5–7.
No such paper by Tegetmeier has been identified.
See letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 1 February 1864 and nn. 2 and 4.


Bates, Henry Walter. 1861. Contributions to an insect fauna of the Amazon valley. Lepidoptera: Heliconidæ. [Read 21 November 1861.] Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 23 (1860–2): 495–566.

Origin 4th ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 4th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1866.

‘Review of Bates on mimetic butterflies’: [Review of "Contributions to an insect fauna of the Amazon valley", by Henry Walter Bates.] [By Charles Darwin.] Natural History Review n.s. 3 (1863): 219–24. [Collected papers 2: 87–92.]

Tegetmeier, William Bernhard. 1864. Mimetic analogy. Intellectual Observer 6: 307–13.


Sends paper on mimetic analogy [Intellect. Obs. 6 (1864): 307–13].

Mongrel experiments are progressing, but he has observed no signs of sterility.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Muswell Hill
Source of text
DAR 178: 60
Physical description
3pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4687,” accessed on 19 October 2020,

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