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Darwin Correspondence Project

To [J. D. Hooker]   [before 6 October 1858]1

Is there any Dog in Spain closely like our English Pointer, in shape & size, & habits,—namely in pointing, backing2 & not giving tongue.— Might I be permitted to quote Mr Borrow’s answer to the query?3 Has the improved English pointer been introduced into Spain?

C. Darwin


The recipient and date are established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 October [1858] (Correspondence vol. 7).
Back: ‘to follow the lead of a dog that “points,” by falling into the same perfectly stiff or semi-cataleptic state’ (OED).
George Henry Borrow was a well-known writer who had lived and travelled in Spain for several years. In a biography of Borrow in which the above letter was reproduced, the author noted that CD sent the inquiry through Hooker, who passed it on to Borrow’s friend, Thomas Brightwell (Shorter 1913, p. 318). CD cited Borrow’s reply in Variation 1: 42, but Borrow’s letter to CD has not been found (see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 October [1858] and n. 8).


Asks whether there are dogs in Spain like English pointers.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Source of text
Tim Lewens (private collection)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2333F,” accessed on 31 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)