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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Holland   21 December [1867]1

Brook Street Decr 21 My dear Charles

The pages I enclose will probably interest you. They are taken from the proceedings of the Manchester Phil. Society, which I received this morning;2 It is now perhaps the best of the Provincial Scientific bodies. I have been a Member of it, for very nearly 60 years.3

I received a few days ago a copy of the attack upon you from the Author; This gives me no clue whatever to his name or nature.4 The nearest approach I make, is that of being very intimate with a friend of his, who fully admits knowing him, but under strict injunction not to disclose him.

I find that very few people have even heard of the volume.

Ever yours affy. | H Holland

Charles Darwin Esqr


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Henry Holland, 27 January [1868] (Correspondence vol. 16).
The enclosure was an article on species of plants that had colonised land cleared for planting at Tatton Park, Cheshire (Hurst and Carter 1867); there is a copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society was founded in 1781; for more on its history, see Hayhurst 1967. In the Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, Holland is listed as a corresponding member, elected in 1812 (see, for example, ibid. 3d ser. 2 (1865), Council of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester (1864)).
The reference is to The Darwinian theory of the transmutation of species examined by a graduate of the University of Cambridge by Robert Mackenzie Beverley ([Beverley] 1867; see letter to Charles Kingsley, 13 December [1867] and n. 6).


[Beverley, Robert Mackenzie.] 1867. The Darwinian theory of the transmutation of species examined by a graduate of the University of Cambridge. London: James Nisbet & Co.

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

Hayhurst, H. 1967. ‘The Lit. and Phil.’: its past and its future. Memoirs and Proceedings, Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society 109: 5–17.


Has received a copy of an attack on CD ["Darwinian theory examined"] from the author, but does not know who it is.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Holland
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Brook St
Source of text
DAR 166: 247
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5736,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

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