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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. B. Meyer   27 November [1869]1

Down. | Beckenham Kent S.E.

Novr. 27th.

Dear Sir.

I despatched the pamphlet yesterday—2 You are quite at liberty to give a Photograph of me; but it seems useless, & I feel sure that the English Photographers will charge you a very large price. But I am not willing to sit on purpose; it is what I hate doing & wastes a whole day owing to my weak health; and to sit with another person would cause still more trouble & delay—3 Photographs can be procured at Messrs Elliot & Fry, or Messrs Edwards & Bult both residing in Baker St. London.

The Rock thrush is the Rupicola, but I forget whether that of Guiana is the crocea or aurantia.4

Your translation of Wallace has not yet arrived but books are often long delayed in coming from Germany5

Pray believe me | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

P.S | I am very sorry to be disobliging about the Photographs, but I cannot endure the thought of sitting again, and I have refused 3 or 4 Photographers lately.

Messrs Elliot & Fry are the last who have taken me, & they came down here on purpose—6


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. B. Meyer, 24 November 1869.
The reference is to C. Darwin and Wallace 1858; see the letter from A. B. Meyer, 24 November 1869.
Meyer had asked whether CD would sit with Alfred Russel Wallace for a frontispiece to Meyer 1870, a translation of C. Darwin and Wallace 1858.
CD refers to Wallace 1869c; see letter from A. B. Meyer, 16 November 1869.
CD entered a payment to Elliott & Fry on 25 July 1869 in his banking account (CD’s Account books–banking account (Down House MS)).


Meyer, Adolf Bernhard. 1870. Charles Darwin und Alfred Russel Wallace. Ihre Ersten Publicationen über die ‘Entstehung der Arten’ nebst einer Skizze Ihres Lebens und einem Verzeichniss Ihrer Schriften. Erlangen: Eduard Besold.


Not willing to sit for photographer again.

ABM’s translation of Wallace’s Malay Archipelago has not yet arrived.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Adolf Bernhard Meyer
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 146: 362
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7014,” accessed on 5 December 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17