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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Joseph Simms   14 September 1874

3 Mabledon Place | Euston Road | London

Sept 14, 1874,

Mr. Darwin,

Dear Sir,

To-day I send you one of my books, hoping it may prove sufficiently interesting that you can say a word in its favour for print.1 Address as above

Very Respectfully yours | J. Simms, M.D.

P.S. | Within one week a letter would reach me at

3 Eastbourne Terrace

Bishop’s Road,


London, N.W.

where I am at present in lodgings   From Mabledon Place letters are forwarded to me at any time.


Your name is mentioned on page 192.2

I wish a drawing of your right foot, very much, for a work I am intending to print at some future time—3

If you will favour me you can plant the foot on white paper lightly while sitting and with pencil draw an outline close round the entire foot. It matters not whether with stocking or not. Better without stocking.

If you grant this unusual request please give your height while standing in stockings.

I have a compliment for you, and it is this. While I was travelling in Germany I often heard it from scientific men that Mr. Darwin produced the deepest and best work of modern times—

J. Simms, M.D.


Simms refers to his book of physiognomy, Nature’s revelations of character (Simms 1873); it is not mentioned in any of CD’s publications.
In Simms 1873, pp. 191–2, CD’s portrait appears as an illustration of ‘Observativeness Large’, the ‘quality or disposition to look closely and with rigid care at every object’ as expressed by ‘full, long, arching eyebrows, which are lowered down close to the eyes’.
Simms’s later publication has not been identified.


Simms, Joseph. 1873. Nature’s revelations of character, or, the mental, moral and volitive dispositions of mankind, as manifested in the human form and countenance. London: the author.


Sends copy of one of his books.

Asks for drawing of CD’s right foot.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Simms
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Mabledon Place, 3
Source of text
DAR 177: 164
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9637,” accessed on 13 August 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22