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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. M. Kettle   10 March [1871]1

Heathside near Poole

Friday March 10


Will you forgive me for troubling you with the request to be allowed to make use of some sentences in letters of yours to the late Charles Boner author of “Transylvania” “Forest creatures” and other works?2 I have been occupied for many months with the arrangement of his papers and I have made a collection of Memorials of his varied and most interesting career at the request & with the assistance of his daughter and sister.3

Mr. Boner consulted me on literary matters and when he died no one but myself was acquainted with his wishes & instructions respecting his last work— While preparing it for the press it struck me that some notice of its author might be added and so many clever men have aided & contributed that my tribute to his memory has become much more important than I at first expected.

Among many private letters & papers sent to me from Munich by Madame Horschelt and Miss Boner I find some letters of yours which contain such a true appreciation of my dear friends works and powers of observation that I would willingly if you have no objection make a few extracts from them. May I use your name as it will increase the value of your flattering comments? If you have any letters of Charles Boner’s likely to be interesting either whole or in portion to the public it would be a great favour to me and to his daughter if you would lend them to me. I will promise to return them if you wish it and you may rely on my discretion not to publish any passage which could in any respect be objectionable.4

I must add that all I do in this matter is out of respect for Mr. Boner’s talents and affection for his memory as I shall derive no pecuniary benefits from the work. For the accuracy of what I have now said as I am a perfect stranger to you I can refer you to Me. Horschelt, Mr. Boner’s daughter, who resides at 5 Louisa Strasse Munich. She has entrusted me with all her father’s most private papers & letters and relies on me implicitly.

Believe me to remain | with much respect | yours very faithfully | Rosa Mackenzie Kettle

An easier reference perhaps would be Edward Wilberforce Esqre.

4 Harcourt Buildings | Inner Temple

Please to address me as Miss Rosa M. Kettle

an early reply will oblige me as I am preparing the proof sheets for publication by Mr. Bentley5 after Easter


The year is established by the reference to the publication of Kettle ed. 1871 (see n. 4, below).
Kettle refers to Boner 1865 and Boner 1861.
Boner’s daughter was Marie Horschelt; his sister, Miss Boner, has not been further identified.
See Correspondence vol. 18, letters to Charles Boner, [before 8 January 1870] and 20 January [1870]. These letters also appear in Kettle ed. 1871, pp. 77–8.
Kettle’s publisher was Richard Bentley & Son. She probably refers to George Bentley, who took over management of the firm in 1867 (ODNB s.v. Bentley, Richard).


Boner, Charles. 1861. Forest creatures. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts.

Boner, Charles. 1865. Transylvania: its products and its people. London: Longman, Green, Reader and Dyer.

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

Kettle, Rosa Mackenzie ed. 1871. Memoirs and letters of Charles Boner. 2 vols. London: R. Bentley.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Requests permission to quote from CD’s letters to Charles Boner in her edition [of Memoirs and letters of Charles Boner (1871)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Rosa Mackenzie Kettle
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 169: 8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7565,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19