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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Benjamin Carpenter   [13–16 February 1867]1

6 Queen Anne Street2

[Asking for a specimen [of Eozoon] for Professor Victor Carus of Leipzig.]3


The date range is based on the date of CD’s visit to his brother’s house (see n. 2, below), and on the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. V. Carus, 17 February [1867].
Six Queen Anne Street, London, was the home of CD’s brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin. CD was a visitor there between 13 and 21 February (see CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix II)).
Julius Victor Carus asked CD for a specimen of the Eozoon fossils in his letter of 11 February 1867. Carpenter had described the supposed fossils following their recent discovery; see Carpenter 1864 and Carpenter 1866, and the letter from J. V. Carus, 11 February 1867, n. 5. See also Origin 4th ed., pp. 371–2, and Peckham ed. 1959, pp. 514–15.


Carpenter, William Benjamin. 1866. Supplemental notes on the structure and affinities of Eozoon Canadense. [Read 10 January 1866.] Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 22: 219–28.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Origin 4th ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 4th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1866.


Asks for specimen [of Eozoon] for J. V. Carus of Leipzig.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Benjamin Carpenter
Sent from
Source of text
Sotheby Parke Bernet, London (18 June 1979)
Physical description
ALS * 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5402,” accessed on 3 July 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15