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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   4 August [1867]

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

Aug 4.

My dear Sir

I am much obliged for the proofs which I have been glad to see, tho’ my Chapter on Pigeons is printed off. Your new book will be I have no doubt as good as your last & more than that no one need desire.1

I saw with much surprize that Mr Brent is dead, & thus an eccentric but worthy man is lost.2 I shd have liked to hear something about his death.

I hope you have not quite forgotten the experiment which you so very kindly offered to try about dying pigeons with bright colours. I feel much curiosity on this head.3

My book will be published in Nov. & I need not say that a copy will of course be sent to you—4

My dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Tegetmeier evidently sent CD proof-sheets of his new book on pigeons (Tegetmeier 1868). CD refers to chapters 5 and 6 of Variation (1: 131–224), and to Tegetmeier’s Poultry book (Tegetmeier 1867).
The reference is to Bernard Peirce Brent, whom CD had once described as ‘very crotchetty’ (see Correspondence vol. 13, Supplement, letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 8 May [1861]). Brent sent CD information on domestic birds, and is frequently cited in Variation.
Variation was published in January 1868 (Freeman 1977). Tegetmeier’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for Variation (DAR 210.11: 33).


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

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Tegetmeier, William Bernhard. 1867. The poultry book: comprising the breeding and management of profitable and ornamental poultry, their qualities and characteristics; to which is added ‘The standard of excellence in exhibition birds’, authorized by the Poultry Club. London and New York: George Routledge & Sons.

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


Thanks WBT for proofs of his new book [Pigeons (1868)].

Hopes he still intends to try the experiment with dyed pigeons.

Was surprised to hear of B. P. Brent’s death.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5593,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

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