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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Chauncey Wright   28 October 1871

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Oct 28 1871

My dear Mr Wright

I am glad to hear that you have written your paper on Phyllotaxy, & I am sure that you must have found it a very difficult subject to make clear.1

It pleases me that you are satisfied with the appearance of your pamphlet. I am sure that it will do our cause good service; & this same-opinion Huxley has expressed to me. In number 2 of the Journal of the Anthropolog. Institute, just published, there is a very short but favourable notice of it.2

Your letter arrived just one day after the return of my two sons from America.3 They enjoyed their tour exceedingly; & I think Cambridge more than all the rest. I am sure I feel grateful for the extraordinary kindness with which they were treated. When you meet any of their friends I hope that you will say how thoroughly they enjoyed themselves & how grateful they feel.

I can quite understand yr hesitation in screwing up yr courage to come all the way to Europe; should you ever come here I shall be truly glad to see you.

Thank you for your offer of sending me yr paper on Phyllotaxy when published, as I shall be very glad to see it.4

Pray believe me | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


See letter from Chauncey Wright, 11 October 1871. CD refers to Wright 1871c.
CD refers to his reprint of Wright’s review of St George Jackson Mivart’s Genesis of species (Mivart 1871a; Wright 1871a; Wright 1871b). A notice of it was printed in the Journal of the Anthropological Institute 1 (1871–2): 261–2. CD also refers to Thomas Henry Huxley; see letter from T. H. Huxley and H. A. Huxley, 20 September 1871.
George Howard and Francis Darwin had been touring the United States (see letter to Asa Gray, 16 July [1871]). See also letter from Chauncey Wright, 11 October 1871.
There is a lightly annotated offprint of Wright 1871c in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL; Wright sent it in March 1872 (see Correspondence vol. 20, letter from Chauncey Wright, 3 April 1872).


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


Glad CW has written on phyllotaxy [Mem. Am. Acad. Arts & Sci. n.s. 9 (1867–73): 379–415].

Sure that CW’s pamphlet [Darwinism (1871)] will do cause good service.

Grateful for kindness to sons in America.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Chauncey Wright
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8033,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

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