RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1922. [Letter to R. H. Meade, 1860]. Obituary Notices of Fellows deceased, [L. C. Miall]. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 93, no. 655 (1 July): x-xix.

REVISION HISTORY:  Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 5.2022. RN1

NOTE: The editors of the Correspondence vol. 8, p. 50, noted: "In the published version of the letter, the recipient was incorrectly identified as Louis Compton Miall (see n. 4, below). The author of the paper to which CD refers, however, was the entomologist Richard Henry Meade."

[page] x


Meanwhile he was working hard at zoology and geology, and joined a Botanical Society at Todmorden, making many friends who were interested in Natural History and publishing papers in various periodicals. One of these brought him the following letter from Charles Darwin:—

Down, Bromley, Kent.

January 23, 1860.

Dear Sir, I hope that you will excuse the liberty I take in writing to you and requesting a favour. In the 'Annals of Nat. Hist.,' vol. 15, p. 39, you remark "The variations of form in the maxillae are of no value among the Phalangida in affording generic or specific characters as with the true spiders." Am I to understand from the latter part of sentence that with the individuals of the same undoubted species the maxillae vary in form? Is not this a very surprising fact? Would you have the great kindness, if the fact be so, to give me some details on the amount and kind of variations and in what species. And further would you permit me to quote any such facts on your authority?

With many apologies for troubling you, I beg to remain, Dear Sir,

Yours very faithfully,

Charles Darwin.

[page] xii

One wonders what answer was sent, and whether Darwin was aware that his correspondent was a boy of eighteen.


[page] xviii


 It might be noted here that all his life he loved books and was interested in the care and binding of them. He was for many years Hon. Librarian of the Yorkshire College. The only half-disparaging remark he was known to make about Charles Darwin referred to the ruthless way he treated books.

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