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Darwin Correspondence Project

To St G. J. Mivart   12 January 1875

Jan 12th 1875


Your article in the Q. R. for July 1874 contains a wholly false & malicious accusation against my son, Mr G. Darwin.1 You had a fair opportunity in the following number of retracting your infamous & explicit accusation, & you did not make even this small reparation.—2 Your article also includes deliberate misrepresentations of what I have published.3

Therefore I refuse to hold for the future any communication with

Sir | Your obedt. servt. | Ch. Darwin

To | St. G. Mivart Esq


In an anonymous essay review in the Quarterly Review of works by John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor, Mivart had suggested that an article on marriage by George Howard Darwin spoke in an approving strain of the encouragement of vice to check population (that is, of prostitution; [Mivart] 1874, p. 70, G. H. Darwin 1873).
In the October 1874 issue of the Quarterly Review, a letter from George denying Mivart’s accusations appeared, followed by an anonymous note by Mivart in which he said he was glad to find that George did not apprehend the full implications of the doctrines that he had helped to propagate (Quarterly Review 137: 587–9).
For a list of comments in [Mivart] 1874b bearing on CD’s work, see Correspondence vol. 22, Appendix V.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

[Mivart, St George Jackson.] 1874b. Primitive man: Tylor and Lubbock. [Essay review of the works of John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor.] Quarterly Review 137 (1874): 40–77.


StGJM’s article in the Quarterly Review [137 (1874): 40–77] contains wholly false and malicious accusations against CD’s son George. Since StGJM has refused to make any sort of retraction, CD will not hold any future communication with him.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
St George Jackson Mivart
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 97: C36
Physical description
ADraftS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9812,” accessed on 2 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23