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Darwin Correspondence Project

To H. W. Bates   [22 May 1870]1



My dear Bates

I have heard from Mr Appleton, but I have written to him to say that I am very sorry that I must decline undertaking the Review, which however, I fully grant is very desirable.—2 I have had no practice & it wd. take me much time; nor do I know that I shd succeed. But my chief reason is that I really have not a grain of spare strength, & have come here now for 2 or 3 days to try & rest.3 You wd. not readily believe how often & urgently I am pressed to write articles— A week ago a most urgent request from men who had much claim: shortly before another:4 & it is an immense relief to me to be able to say that I never write reviews.— So I am very sorry, but must decline, even though you recommend it—

My dear Bates | Yours very sincerely | Ch Darwin

P.S. If you can let me see an old Proof of your sentences on Man, I shd really very much like to read them.—5


The date is established by the relationship between this letter, the letter from C. E. C. B. Appleton, 18 May [1870], and the letter from H. W. Bates, 20 May 1870, and by the dates of CD’s visit to Cambridge. The only Sunday during CD’s trip to Cambridge was 22 May 1870 (see n. 3, below).
CD was in Cambridge from 20 to 24 May 1870 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
These letters have not been found.


Explains why he has declined writing a review for Messrs Appleton.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Walter Bates
Source of text
The British Library (Surrogate RP 8018/1)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7765F,” accessed on 15 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18