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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. A. Crawley   12 February 1879

Down | Beckenham, Kent

Feb. 12/79

Dear Sir.

I am sorry to say that I can give you no information.1

I have forgotten the very little Greek which I once knew. Nor have I ever read, to my shame be it spoken, the works of Aristotle. From extracts, which I have seen, I have an unbounded respect for him, as one of the greatest, if not the greatest observer, that ever lived.—2

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


No letters from Crawley have been found.
CD cited the observations of Aristotle in Origin 4th ed., p. xiii, Variation 1: 24, 75 and 277, and 2: 51, and Cross and self fertilisation, pp. 415–16. CD’s Reading notebook (1838–51) contains the entry ‘read Aristotle to see whether any of my views are ancient’ (see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 119: 2v).


Can give no information. Has never read works of Aristotle, but has unbounded respect for him as observer.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Julius Avery Crawley
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 302
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11875,” accessed on 20 October 2021,