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Darwin Correspondence Project

To St George Jackson Mivart   9 December [1867]1

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

Dec 9th

[thanking him for his “Memoir on the Append. skeleton of the Primates” which he says he is glad to receive at present “as I am now attending to some point in the natural history of man”.2] I hope that we may some time soon meet in London, for I am anxious to make the acquaintance of one who has done such good work in comparative anatomy.3

With my best thanks, | pray believe me | Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Mivart 1867 (see n. 2, below), and by CD’s expression of his desire to make Mivart’s acquaintance; the two men met before 6 April 1868 (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from St G. J. Mivart, 6 April 1868).
CD refers to Mivart’s paper ‘On the appendicular skeleton of the primates’ (Mivart 1867). No offprint of Mivart 1867 has been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL; however, CD’s copy of the journal in which it appeared is in his collection of unbound journals in the Darwin Library–CUL. Mivart’s paper is partly uncut and lightly annotated. CD cited Mivart 1867 in Descent 1: 196–7.
Mivart’s papers on the comparative anatomy of primates were published between 1864 and 1873 (J. W. Gruber 1960, pp. 31–2); for a bibliography of Mivart’s publications in this and other fields, see J. W. Gruber 1960. For an account of Mivart’s researches in the field of comparative anatomy, see Blum 1996. CD referred to Mivart’s findings in this field in the sixth edition of Origin. Mivart was made an FRS in 1869 in recognition of his work on comparative anatomy (Royal Society of London, certificates of election and candidature).


Blum, Christopher Olaf. 1996. St. George Mivart: Catholic natural philosopher. PhD thesis: University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

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

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Gruber, Jacob W. 1960. A conscience in conflict. The life of St. George Jackson Mivart. New York: Columbia University Press for Temple University Publications.


Thanks for his memoir ["On the appendicular skeleton of the Primates"].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
St George Jackson Mivart
Sent from
Source of text
Sotheby’s (dealers) (21 and 22 July 1988, pp. 212–13)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5720A,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

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