skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Harris   16 February [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb 16th

Dear Sir

I beg your pardon for not having returned the proofs, which I now do, but I thought that they were spare copies.—2

I really have no criticisms or remarks worth sending which I could make in a reasonable space; & I have no strength or time to spare, as I am much out of health & am overworked at present with the tedious & dispiriting labour of preparing new Edits of 2 of my books.3

Pray forgive me, & believe me | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from George Harris, 10 February 1874.
No letter from Harris requesting return of the proof-sheets of his book A philosophical treatise on the nature and constitution of man (Harris 1876) has been found. Harris had sent the proof-sheets with his letter of 10 February 1874, and CD had thanked him for them in his letter to Harris of 12 February 1874.
CD was working on the second editions of Descent and Coral reefs (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

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

Harris, George. 1876. A philosophical treatise on the nature and constitution of man. 2 vols. London: George Bell & Sons. Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, & Co.


Returns proofs; has no criticisms or remarks worth sending.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9294,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22