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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. R. Wallace   3 August [1872]1

Down. | Beckenham, Kent.

Aug 3. 1872

My dear Wallace

I hate controversy, chiefly perhaps because I do it badly; but as Dr Bree accuses you of “blundering”, I have thought myself bound to send the enclosed letter to Nature; that is if you in the least desire it. In this case please post it.—2 If you do not at all wish it, I shd rather prefer not sending it, & in this case please to tear it up—

And I beg you to do the same, if you intend answering Dr Bree yourself, as you will do it incomparably better than I shd

Also please to tear it up if you don’t like the letter.

My dear Wallace | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Nature, 3 August [1872].
Charles Robert Bree had defended his book (Bree 1872) against Wallace’s criticism (see letter to Nature, 3 August 1872 and nn. 2 and 3). CD’s letter appeared in Nature, 8 August 1872, p. 279.


Encloses a letter to Nature [see 8448] correcting Dr Bree, who has accused ARW of "blundering". ARW should tear up CD’s letter if he does not like it or plans to reply himself.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent from
Source of text
Waddington Auction (July 1998)
Physical description
2pp & Adraft 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8447,” accessed on 18 November 2018,

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