RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1855-1860. Abstracts of letters from Edward Blyth. CUL-DAR203.8. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 8.2023. 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. The volume CUL-DAR203 contains abstracts of letters from Edward Blyth. Darwin used Blyth's information in Natural selection, Origin, and Variation.

"Blyth, Edward, 1810-73. Zoologist. Neglected his druggist business at Tooting in favour of natural history and got into financial difficulties. LL2:315. CD discussed evolution with before Origin. Biographical note on: ML1:62. Wrote under pseudonyms "Zoophilus" and "Z". Helped greatly with Variation. 1835, 1837 His early views on causes reminiscent of natural selection maintaining fixity of species Mag. Nat. Hist. 8, 1835, pp. 40-53 and 1837 n.s. 1: pp. 1-9. L." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021.)


Letter (7)

Sheet 1. p. 1 name of great snail introduced

p. 2. Feral Fowls

Sheet 2. p. 3.— Donkeys in India with zebra marks on legs ie not climate, & rarely an additional shoulder stripe.

p. 4. — Cats of India, an indigenous species domesticated.

Sheet 4. p. 1 wild Duck in Himalaya

.3 the same form may have been different [illeg] in different spot — instances of close species — Skua gull fd in Australia & not in Tropics.— A cockatoo varying in size in different regions of Australia

Sheet 5 p. 1 do subject

p 2. Hybrid Calcutta journal of nat. History Hutton on crosses of Capra Ægagrus

p 3 Chamber Journal (before Oct. 1855 Red Deer Sterile

p. 4 Metaphor of affinities like branches of tree,


Letter 8 Sh 1. p. 2 Gallus brighter coloured & more easily domesticated in Burmah than in India

Sh. 2. p. 1. On the Hybrid-geese of India

Letter 9. p. 4 Hybrid-geese

p. 4 on gallus Bankiva from Burmah.

Letter 10. nothing particular

Sheet 2 p. 1. Quote Blyth on relation of range to question of Red Grouse being species.

Last page, important on varieties crossing when ranges meet.— Coracias Treron.—

Letter 11. Sh. 1. p. 1. suspects Carp a Golden var.

— p. 3. variations of wild gallus Bankiva

Letter 12. Sh. 1. p. 4. Description of gallus various f g.  is a hybrid.

Sh. 4. p. 1 Respect on infertility of G. Sonnerati

— p. 2. Refers about skua gull not in Tropics, but in Australia, to Gould; & I have consulted him.


Letter 13. Sh. 1. p. 4. Has got all the breeds of Pigeons f in India of the Slate colour with bars & one colour of Rumps.

sh. 2 p. 1. on antiquity of Fowls in India

— p. 2. Description of Indian Pigeons domestic varieties.—

sh. 3. do

Letter 14. — Notes on domestic Pigeons

— 15 Wild gallus without white lappets

He has written on Pigeons in C.

June 1860 Stenops gracilis, figured by Sir. E. Tennent is an animal with long fingers about which in a recent letter Blyth wrote to me some curious facts.

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

File last updated 11 October, 2023