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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Blyth   2 July 1868

July 2/68—

Dear Mr. Darwin,

Many thanks for the copies of your papers.1 I read them over carefully when on a visit to Dr Bree2 at Colchester last week.— It will interest you to know that there are now in the Z. G. specimens of the moufflon sheep from Corsica & from Sardinia, while I have examined some fine skins of the Cyprian race belonging to Ld Lilford, who indeed procured them at my particular request.3 It is remarkable that the three races are as different as many that pass for species. I noted, of course, your remarks about Primula vulgaris & P. veris.4

Yours Sincerely, E Blyth


One of the papers may have been ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula; see n. 4, below.
Charles Robert Bree.
Thomas Littleton Powys, fourth Baron Lilford, presented two mouflon sheep to the menagerie of the Zoological Society of London (the Zoological Gardens) in March 1868. A third was presented by another person in April, and one was born in May. (Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1868): 640–3.)
Blyth may refer to CD’s remarks in his paper ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula, where he mentioned the dispute over whether Primula veris and P. vulgaris (the primrose and the cowslip) were species or varieties (‘Dimorphic condition in Primula, p. 93 (Collected papers 2: 60)).


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

‘Dimorphic condition in Primula’: On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations. By Charles Darwin. [Read 21 November 1861.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. [Collected papers 2: 45–63.]


Has examined three races of the mouflon sheep and remarks on the extent of variation in them.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Blyth
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 160: 217
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6263,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16