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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Thomas Belt   3 December [1874]1

2 Bryanston St. | Portman Square

Dec. 3rd.

My dear Sir

I have come to London for a week and am anxious to be allowed to make your personal acquaintance.2 Is there anywhere where I could meet you early next week and in the forenoon, as I am generally good for nothing in the afternoon? Or which would be the best plan for me, if not inconvenient to you, would you come here, (my daughter’s house) and lunch at 1 o’clock. If this would suit you, will you fix an early day next week, and I believe all days are the same to us.3

Pray believe me | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin.


The year is established by the reference to CD’s staying at Bryanston Street and to a hoped-for first meeting with Belt. CD was at his daughter Henrietta Emma Litchfield’s house in Bryanston Street on 3 December in 1874 and probably in 1879 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II and DAR 158), Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). However, CD probably met Belt for the first time in April 1875 (Correspondence vol. 23, letter to Thomas Belt, 31 March [1875?]), after which the two men addressed each other in correspondence as ‘Dear Mr Darwin’ and ‘Dear Mr Belt’ rather than ‘My dear Sir’.
CD was in London from 3 to 12 December 1874 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). He had corresponded with Belt on natural history since 1867.
CD evidently did not meet Belt in December 1874 since in his letter of 24 February 1875 (Correspondence vol. 23), he again expressed the desire of making Belt’s personal acquaintance.


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


Invites TB to visit. Wants to make his acquaintance.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Belt
Sent from
London, Bryanston St, 2
Source of text
DAR 143: 80
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9742,” accessed on 5 December 2021,

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