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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Arthur Nicols   [after 24 February 1876]1

Excuse brevity, I have many letters daily to write

I agree with all you say about being led to enquire as foundation of observation.2


Quite right then not to attack tradition beliefs, however absurd

Your idea seems a good one & well carried out—& I shd think & hope attractive to the young—as far as I can judge— I have made 1 or 2 pencil memoranda—where your statements seem to me rather strong4


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Arthur Nicols, 24 February 1876.
See letter from Arthur Nicols, 24 February 1876. Nicols had sent CD a chapter of his proposed book and outlined his approach to writing on scientific topics for children.
Nicols had asked CD’s advice about getting a publisher. His book, The puzzle of life, was published by Longmans, Green, and Co. (Nicols 1877).
CD evidently returned the manuscript of the chapter with his comments.


Nicols, Arthur. 1877. The puzzle of life and how it has been put together: a short history of vegetable and animal life upon the earth from the earliest times: including an account of pre-historic man, his weapons, tools, and works. London: Longmans, Green & Co.


Supports AN’s idea [of a natural history book for children].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Arthur (Arthur) Nicols
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 172: 65/1v
Physical description
Adraft 1p (on 10408)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10409,” accessed on 22 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24