RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1882. [Words attributed to Darwin on Journal of Researches "I always thought it the best of my books"]. In Anon. Art. IV. Darwin. Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Review 62 (1 July): 85-121, p. 94.

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

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here.

"Flower, Sir William Henry, 1831-99. Mammalogist, comparative anatomist and surgeon. 1864 CD to F, about supposed sixth toe in frogs. 1864 FRS. 1873 "On palaeontological evidence of gradual modification of animal forms", Jrnl. of the Roy. Institution, pp. 94-104. 1877 F to CD, he had examined a pig's foot with an extra digit sent to CD by Otto Zacharias. CCD25. 1882 F was on "Personal Friends invited" list for CD's funeral. 1884-98 Director BMNH in succession to Richard Owen. 1892 KCB. 1868 Sept. 16 visited CD. In company were Dr Duncan, Peter Martin and Mr Gwyn Jeffreys. Two more visits were recorded in ED's diary 1878 Jun. 24 and perhaps the last and final visit on 1880 Feb. 14." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)

At a meeting of the Anthropological Institute on 25 April 1882, Flower spoke about Darwin's character. These words attributed to Darwin were likely spoken there though they are not recorded in the report published in the record of remarks spoken about Darwin in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain vol. 12, p. 229. The last known visit of Flower to Darwin is recorded in Emma Darwin's diary as 14 to 16 February 1880. (CUL-DAR242[.44]) The entire article is in Darwin Online as A2861. Also printed in Westminster Review (July, 1882): 39-56.

[page] 94

† At the meeting of the Anthropological Institute, shortly after Darwin's death, Professor Flower, whilst alluding in feeling terms to the loss sustained by the scientific world, mentioned that at a late interview he had told Mr. Darwin that he had just been reading again his "Journal of Researches" with increased interest and pleasure, upon which Darwin replied: "I am glad of that, for I always thought it the best of my books."

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

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