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Darwin Correspondence Project

To James Paget   11 March [1863]

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

March 11th

Dear Paget

I shd. be very glad to insert in my Chapt. on inheritance the following sentence, as it comes in well after some other facts.1 Do you object? And have I quoted the facts accurately?2 If I receive no answer I will assume that it is accurate, & that I have your permission.—

“Many persons, as I hear from Mr Paget, have two or three hairs in their eye-brows (apparently corresponding with the vibrissœ of the lower animals) much longer than the others; and even so trifling a peculiarity as this runs in families.”—

I wish I could hear of any case of inherited peculiarities in eye-lashes.—

Pray believe me | Dear Paget | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


CD wrote drafts of the chapters on inheritance for Variation (Variation 2: 1–84) between 23 January and 1 April 1863 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)); the sentence appears in Variation 2: 8.
No earlier correspondence on this subject has been found; CD apparently discussed it with Paget while he was in London in February (see letter from James Paget, 7 February 1863). See also letter from James Paget, 16 March 1863.


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

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Sends a sentence, quoting JP, on inherited peculiarities in eye-brows. Asks whether he may use it in his chapter on inheritance [Variation, ch. 12].

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5436,” accessed on 31 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11