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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Doubleday   [before 5 February 1857]1


– have bred all these varieties from the same set of eggs, so that there can be no doubt that they are all the same species?2 I trust & think that your kindness will make you forgive my writing so long & troublesome a letter.— I can assure you, that in so far as giving me knowledge, which I value, your note will not have been thrown away upon me.

Pray believe me | My dear Sir | Your’s truly obliged | Charles Darwin

I must express my admiration at the skill with which your Box was packed up; & must confess, until I read your letter, I was somewhat dismayed to think how I shd. ever return it half so neatly!

I think there is no difference in the Peronias except in the wondrous differences of colour, & somewhat in size.— I presume that there is no rule of any of the coloured vars. tending to be smaller or larger.3


Dated by the relationship to the following letter.
See letter from Henry Doubleday, 26 January 1857. CD refers to Doubleday’s description of having reared eggs of what had been claimed to be two distinct species of Harpalyce and finding, as he expected, that the resulting moths were identical.


Have all varieties been bred from the same set of eggs so that there can be no doubt they are all the same species?

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Doubleday
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
3pp inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2032,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6