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Darwin Correspondence Project

From H. W. Bates   15 November 1873

1, Savile Row, | Burlington Gardens, | W.

Nov 15 1873

My dear Mr Darwin

Enclosed is Wallace’s reply.1 You will perceive that he is at present unaware of the scope & nature of the revision required, & I should think they ought to be very exactly defined if he is employed; otherwise he would be likely to query the reasoning.

Yours sincerely | H W Bates


The Dell, Grays, Essex.

Novr. 14th. 1873

Dear Bates

Thanks for your note. I shall be glad to undertake the revision of Darwin’s Descent of Man—always supposing Mr Darwin likes me to do it, & also that it is well paid for, as it will be a stiff job.

I shall be very glad to see & review Belt’s Book.2

In haste | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace


CD had evidently asked Bates to write to Alfred Russel Wallace to enquire whether he was willing to revise Descent for a second edition.
Wallace’s review of Thomas Belt’s The naturalist in Nicaragua (Belt 1874) appeared in Nature, 22 January 1874, pp. 218–21.


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


Encloses A. R. Wallace’s reply [in which he says he will undertake revision of Descent if CD wishes]. HWB says this shows that Wallace is unaware of the scope of revision; suggests need for well-defined terms.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Walter Bates
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
R. Geogr. Soc.
Source of text
DAR 160: 89, 90
Physical description
1p, encl ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9144,” accessed on 20 January 2022,

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