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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Doubleday   8 January [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

Jan. 8th

My dear Sir

I write one line merely to thank you for your very kind note, & to beg you not think of taking any trouble, till you are perfectly well from your present suffering condition.2

My dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin

The case of variation was one in which forms were, as I was told, reared by you, which had been named as species by some Lepidopterists.— Such cases are the valuable ones to me.—3


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Henry Doubleday, 26 January 1857 (Correspondence vol. 6).
Doubleday’s letter has not been found. Doubleday suffered from frequent bouts of illness and depression and found writing difficult at times because of problems with his hand (Mays 1978, p. 75).
With his letter of 26 January 1857 (Correspondence vol. 6), Doubleday sent CD specimens of Peronea hastiana (a synonym of Acleris hastiana), a species of tortrix moth that has dozens of named forms. He also sent specimens of P. cristana (a synonym of A. cristana) and noted that all the named forms of tortrix moths would probably reduce into P. hastiana and P. cristana. CD had just completed chapter 4, ‘Variation under nature’, of his species book (Natural selection; see Correspondence vol. 6, Appendix II).


Thanks for a kind note, and asks not to answer until better.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Doubleday
Sent from
Source of text
Dr Heather Whitney (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2037F,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

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