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Darwin Correspondence Project

To ?   18 July [1873?]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

July 18th

Dear Sir

I am sorry to say that I am not anatomist enough to say whether your power is very unusual, but I believe it to be so.— The capacity of moving the scalp is not very infrequent, except to the extreme degree referred to by me; but the remarkable part of that case was the inheritance of the faculty.2

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch Darwin


The year is conjectured from a note on the letter in an unknown hand. The notepaper, with the address in the centre, is of the sort that CD used between January 1872 and November 1874.
CD had discussed a case of the inherited ability to contract the scalp muscles in Descent 1: 20. It had been reported by Alphonse de Candolle in his letter of 2 July 1868 (Correspondence vol. 16).


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

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


Comments on ability of recipient to move his scalp.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.430)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8982,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21