skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Albert Gaudry   27 May [1867]1

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

May 27

Dear Sir

I am much obliged for your kind letter, & for the present of your two memoirs. The one in the Bulletin I shd have naturally seen, but perhaps not that one in the Archives.2

I have been very glad to read this latter paper, as all inosculating forms are very interesting to me. I quite agree with what you say on the extreme interest of attempting to affiliate extinct & existing Species.3

With your great knowledge you will no doubt produce some valuable results, & I feel well convinced that in the course of time the most interesting genealogical tables will be constructed. I am aware that there are very few naturalists in France who at all concur with our views & therefore I presume you will meet with much opposition.4

I am at present printing a book “on the variation of animals & plants under domestication”; which will I believe be translated into French, & in this case I will direct the publisher to send you a copy, though I do not suppose it will possess much interest for you.5 I am much obliged for yr kind wish to see me in Paris; I shd much enjoy this but the state of my health renders it impossible.—

With very sincere respect | I beg leave to remain | Dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Albert Gaudry, 22 May 1867.
Gaudry had sent an offprint from the Nouvelles Archives du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle of his ‘Mémoire sur le reptile (Pleuracanthus Frossardi) découvert par M. Frossard à Muse’ (Gaudry 1867a); see letter from Albert Gaudry, 22 May 1867. The other paper has not been found in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Gaudry published a note on the fossil reptile in the Bulletin de la Société Geologique de France in 1867 (Gaudry 1867b).
See letter from Albert Gaudry, 22 May 1867 and n. 4. Inosculate: ‘to pass into; to join or unite so as to become continuous; to blend’ (OED). See also Correspondence vol. 1, letter to J. S. Henslow, [c. 26 October–] 24 November [1832] and n. 8.
On the reception of CD’s theory in France, see Stebbins 1988 and J. Harvey 1997. See also letter from Camille Dareste, 19 May 1867 and n. 8.
CD refers to Variation. A translation by Jean Jacques Moulinié appeared in 1868 (Moulinié trans. 1868); Gaudry thanked CD for his copy in a letter to CD of 11 April 1868 (Correspondence vol. 16).


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

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.

Stebbins, Robert E. 1988. France. In The comparative reception of Darwinism, edited by Thomas F. Glick. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.


Is much obliged for AG’s two memoirs ["Mémoire sur le reptile découvert par M. Frossard", Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat. 3 (1867): 21–40; Bull. Soc. Géol. France 2d ser. 24 (1867): 397–400].

All "inosculating forms" are very interesting to CD.

Agrees with AG on the importance of attempts to affiliate extinct and existing species.

Will send French edition of Variation when published.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Albert-Jean (Albert) Gaudry
Sent from
Source of text
Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan (Library: Fondo Gaudry b. 7, fasc. 28, doc. 2)
Physical description
LS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5554,” accessed on 5 July 2022,

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