skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. C. Eyton   4 March [1872]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. [9 Devonshire Street, London.]

March 4th

Dear Eyton

I know that you disbelieve in evolution, & therefore it is all the kinder your sending me the note about the Ducks. It is curious how much easier it seems to be for plumage to alter than any other visible character.2

If you continue testing facts as favouring or opposed to the principle of evolution, I think that you will become a convert; but whether you will believe in natural selection is another question.— If you do not, you will, I believe, find it impossible to account for the innumerable adaptive structures everywhere to be seen.— It is really astonishing how rarely I now meet with any naturalist who does not admit evolution under some form.—

Pray believe me, dear Eyton | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the printed stationery, which is of a style that CD used between January 1872 and November 1874, and by the relationship between this letter and the letter from T. C. Eyton, 29 February [1872]. The 29 February letter from Eyton has no year on it, but the date 29 February occurs only in leap years; the only leap year between 1872 and 1874 inclusive was 1872.


Thanks for facts about ducks.

Thinks TCE will be converted to principle of evolution if he continues testing facts for and against it. Natural selection is another question.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Campbell Eyton
Sent from
London, Devonshire St, 9 Down letterhead
Source of text
Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections, University of Birmingham (EYT/1/43)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8235,” accessed on 26 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20