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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   28 March [1865]1

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

March 28th

My dear Sir

I am heartily obliged for your kind proffer of assistance about the woodcuts, & for your note (never hurry yourself to answer me) & for your present of the Fields.2 And lastly for your article on crossing;3 which seems to me excellent: & if I discuss such subjects will certainly be very useful for me to quote.—

I quite agree with what you say about the woodcuts—that of the Pouter struck me as very poor; I did not so much dislike the Tumbler but my impression seems a poor one & the block apparently injured in the beak— the others are excellent, your Smerle, I think the best,—the Barb rather hard about the beak.—4 I will certainly get Mr Wells to do what few drawings I may require.5 I was thinking once of having a long folding Plate with cuts of 6 or 7 pigeons in a row; but I must first consult Mr Murray what he thinks.—6 If I settle on folding plate; (otherwise they are a little too big) several of the Block would do excellently from the Field; but would the Editor approve?7 & can you find out what I shd have to pay, as I must consider Mr Murray’s & indeed my own interest?— If some time soonish you could let me hear what cost wd be, I could decide.

Yours sincerely obliged | Ch. Darwin

Please do not forget to register M.S. of Fowls whenever you have completed the reading.—8

P.S. I have been measuring the cuts in the Field & they are too large to be introduced on a folded Plate, & a little too large for my pages. So take no trouble about the Field cuts.— After communicating with Mr Murray, I will write through you to Mr Wells about making fresh drawings.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 27 March 1865.
The article has not been identified.
John Murray was CD’s publisher. See letter to John Murray, 31 March [1865].
Tegetmeier had offered to lend CD the engraved wood blocks from which the pigeon illustrations recently published in the Field had been taken (see letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 27 March 1865 and n. 7). The editor of the Field was John Henry Walsh (Rose 1953).
CD refers to his draft chapter on domestic fowls, written for inclusion in Variation, which Tegetmeier was reading and correcting (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 27 February [1865]).


Rose, R. N. 1953. The Field, 1853–1953. London: Michael Joseph.

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


Arrangements for woodcuts for Variation.

WBT’s excellent article on crossing.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4798,” accessed on 28 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13