RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [1879]. Draft of Erasmus Darwin, folio 9. CUL-DAR212.4. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

Darwin, C. R. 1879. Preliminary notice. In Ernst Krause, Erasmus Darwin. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. (F1319)


(The third son, Robert Waring Darwin, (born 1766) did not inherit from his father any aptitude for poetry or mechanics; nor did he possess, as I think, a scientific mind mind, though he had a strong taste for flowers & gardening. He published in Vol. 76 of the Philosop. Transactions a paper on ocular (βΈ®) Spectra, which Wheatsone told me was a remarkable production for the period; but I believe that he was largely aided in writing this by his father. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1788. I cannot analayse why my Father's mind did not appear to more fitted for advancing science; for he was fond of theorising, & was incomparably the most acute observer, whom I ever knew. But his powers of observation. But his power of observation was all turned to the practice of medicine, & still more closely to human character.

Here could not be the proper place to show with what extraordinary acuteness he intuitively recognised the disposition or character, & even read the thoughts of those all with whom he came into contact. This skill partly accounts for his great success as a physician; for it

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 4 December, 2022