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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Theodor Eimer   12 December 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Dec 12th 1874

Dear Sir

I am greatly obliged to you for the present of your Work on Lacerta muralis cœrulea with its beautiful illustrations. I can see enough of the drift of your observations to feel sure that the subject will interest me greatly1

With much respect | I am yours dear Sir | faithfully | Charles Darwin

Post Scriptum | The enclosed was unfortunately sent by mistake to a French publisher2   May I ask you to be so very good (if it is not destroyed) as to return the letter which I presume you have received & which must have puzzled you


Eimer sent the second part of his Zoologische Studien auf Capri (Eimer 1873–4); there is an annotated copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. See also next supplement, letter to Theodor Eimer, 21 October [1873]. Lacerta muralis coerulea is now Podarcis sicula coerulea, the blue lizard of Capri. Eimer subtitled the second part ‘Ein Beitrag zur Darwin’sche Lehre’ (A contribution to Darwinian theory), and speculated that the blue subspecies had evolved on an island with no vegetation since it matched the rock colour better and thus avoided predators.
CD evidently mixed up Eimer’s letter with the letter to C.-F. Reinwald, [12 December 1874], of which only a draft is extant.


Eimer, Theodor. 1873–4. Zoologische Studien auf Capri. I Über Beroë ovatus. II Lacerta muralis coerulea. Ein Beitrag zur Darwin’schen Lehre. 2 vols. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.


Thanks for work on Lacerta muralis coerulea [Zoologische Studien auf Capri 2 (1874)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Gustav Heinrich Theodor (Theodor) Eimer
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9755,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

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