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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [4 November 1871]1

[Leith Hill Place, Surrey]2

Thanks— Organisation.— Attend chiefly to sense, though it is very good to look to letters, but the Reader will to see to that,—yet might possibly overlook an error.—3 It is indeed a case of crunching bones.—

C. D.

Saturday Night.—


The date is established by the postmark. In 1871, 4 November was a Saturday.
CD stayed at Leith Hill Place in Surrey, the home of Josiah Wedgwood III, from 3 to 10 November (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
William was helping to correct the proofs of the sixth edition of Origin (see letter to W. E. Darwin, 3 [November 1871]). CD evidently refers to an anonymous reader employed by the publisher (see A. Fraser 1996, pp. 36–8).


Fraser, Angus. 1996. A publishing house and its readers, 1841–1880: the Murrays and the Miltons. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 90: 4–47.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Thanks WED for a correction [to proofs of Origin, 6th ed.].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Leith Hill Place
NO 5 71
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 134
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8051,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

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