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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Gerhard Rohlfs   8 June 1871

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

June 8. 1871

Dear Sir

I thank you very sincerely for yr kind letter, & for your notes, which shall be duly considered whenever I have to prepare a corrected edition of my last book—1

The judgment of a man who like you, has made one of the most wonderful expeditions on record, certainly deserves the fullest consideration.2

With respect to the colour of desert animals I trusted to Mr Tristram, who I believe visited the borders of, if he did not penetrate into the Sahara.3

With great respect I beg leave to remain | dear Sir | yours faithfully & obliged | Ch. Darwin


See letter from Gerhard Rohlfs, 6 June 1871 and nn. 8, 12, and 13. CD refers to Descent.
Rohlfs was the first European to explore and map the Libyan desert (NDB).
CD refers to Henry Baker Tristram. See letter from Gerhard Rohlfs, 6 June 1871 and n. 12.


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

NDB: Neue deutsche Biographie. Under the auspices of the Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. 26 vols. (A–Vocke) to date. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. 1953–.


Thanks GR, who made one of the most wonderful expeditions on record, for some notes which he will consider if he ever has to prepare a new edition [of Descent].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Gerhard Friedrich (Gerhard) Rohlfs
Sent from
Source of text
Universitätsbibliothek Basel, Handschriften (Allgemeine Autographensammlung, D)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7810,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

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