skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To David J. Brown   18 April 1864

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Ap 18. 1864

Dear Sir

I am much obliged by your letter which has pleased me much, & for your M.S. which has been read aloud to me.1 I am still weak from illness & must therefore be brief.2 Your paper seems to me very well done. Many parts are striking & original. I wish it were in my power to aid in its publication, but I have no connection with any Editors, & all the Journals have so often discussed the Origin of Species” that I do not believe any of them wd insert any other paper on the subject.3

Permit me to add that I cordially honour men who like yourself have to spend much time in labour,4 yet whose minds have so much vigour & elasticity as to acquire extended knowledge & follow out original trains of thought.

With sincere respect | Dear Sir | I remain yours faithfully | Charles Darwin

The M.S. will be returned by this post.


The letter from Brown and the manuscript have not been found; however, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 19 [April 1864] and n. 6. See also n. 3, below.
CD’s ‘Journal’ for 1864 has the entry: ‘Ill all Jan. Feb: March, Last sickness April 13th.’ (see Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix II). See also letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 April [1864] and nn. 5 and 6. Only the valediction and signature of the letter are in CD’s hand.
Although several papers published by Brown from 1865 to 1874 are listed in the Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers, none is on Origin.
Brown’s occupation was given as baker in the List of the Edinburgh Geological Society.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

List of the Edinburgh Geological Society: List of the members of the Edinburgh Geological Society. (Corrected to 14th May 1874.) Transactions of the Edinburgh Geological Society 2 (1874) pt. 3, Appendix, pp. i–vii.

Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers: Catalogue of scientific papers (1800–1900). Compiled and published by the Royal Society of London. 19 vols. and index (3 vols.). London: Royal Society of London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1867–1925.


Discusses DJB’s MS concerning the origin of species.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
David J. Brown
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.299)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4464,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12