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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Briton Riviere   27 June [1871]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent [6 Queen Anne Street, London.]

June 27

Dear Sir

I am very much obliged to you for your interesting letter which Miss Bonham Carter has forwarded to me.2 My notion was that the grinning from affection is the carrying on through habit of the uncovering of the lips as in biting in play, and I thought that the drawing back of the ears would be some confirmation of this idea. But what you say about the ears being drawn back from affection had already occurred to me after speaking to Miss Bonham Carter; so that I must leave my notion as dubious as ever.3

With sincere thanks | I remain, Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Briton Riviere to E. M. Bonham Carter, 26 June 1871.
See letter from Briton Riviere to E. M. Bonham Carter, 26 June 1871. CD refers to Elinor Mary Bonham-Carter.
See letter from Briton Riviere to E. M. Bonham Carter, 26 June 1871 and n. 2.


Discusses animal drawing showing expression.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Briton Riviere
Sent from
London Queen Anne St, 6 Down letterhead
Source of text
DAR 147: 317
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7835,” accessed on 4 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19