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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hugo Thiel   25 February 1869

Feb. 25. 1869.

Dear Sir.

On my return home after a short absence I found your very courteous note & pamplet and I hasten to thank you for both and for the very honourable mention which you make of my name—1 You will readily believe how much interested I am in observing that you apply to moral and social questions analogous views to those which I have used in regard to the modification of species— It did not occur to me formerly that my views could be extended to such widely different, and most important subjects. With much respect I beg leave to remain

Dear Sir. | Yours faithfully & obliged. | Charles Darwin.


See letter from Hugo Thiel, 18 February 1869 and n. 1. At the beginning of his essay, Thiel cites CD for having established with convincing clarity the struggle for existence as the basic principle of all organic development (Thiel [1868?], p. 132). Thiel goes on to analyse aspects of human social development from a Darwinian standpoint. CD was in London from 16 to 24 February 1869 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 17, Appendix II)).


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


Thanks for publication applying CD’s theory to moral and social questions.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hugo Thiel
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 148: 71
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6634,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17