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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. T. Knowles   9 February 1875

from | The Hollies | Clapham Common | S.W

Feby 9th. 1875

My Dear Sir/

I lose no time in assuring you that we shall be delighted to reserve space in the April rev: of the “Contemporary Review” for Prof: Whitney’s article (on the terms mentioned so kindly in his letter)—.1 Perhaps you will be so kind as to suggest to him that we should be glad to put as much as 20 pages at his disposal & would prefer a substantive paper of some such extent to the brief essay he seems to contemplate—if it would be agreeable to himself to let us have his longer article.2

I need hardly say that should you yourself be at all persuadable to write a few introductory pages—or even paragraphs—we shall feel as much honoured by them as Prof: Whitney would be benefitted—3

I am my dear Sir | Yours sincerely & | respectfully | James Knowles

To/ Charles Darwin Esq—

CD annotations

2.1 I . . . benefitted— 2.3] brace to left of paragraph, line to ‘This is nonsense | C.D.’ pencil


William Dwight Whitney’s letter to CD, in which he enclosed a letter to Knowles asking whether he might respond to an article by Friedrich Max Müller (Max Müller 1875), has not been found (see letter to G. H. Darwin, 10 [February 1875] and n. 2). CD sent this letter to Whitney along with two brief notes, which have not been found (see letter to G. H. Darwin, 10 [February 1875]).
Whitney’s article, ‘Are languages institutions?’ (Whitney 1875), was published in Contemporary Review, April 1875, and was twenty pages long.
In 1874, Knowles had tried to persuade CD to write an article for the Contemporary Review, but CD declined (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter to J. T. Knowles, 5 August 1874). In the event, CD did not write an introduction to Whitney 1875.


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

Max Müller, Friedrich. 1875. My reply to Mr. Darwin. Contemporary Review 25 (1874–5): 305–26.

Whitney, William Dwight. 1875. Are languages institutions? Contemporary Review 25 (1874–5): 713–32.


Assures CD that space will be reserved in the April Contemporary Review for W. D. Whitney’s article and solicits an introductory section from C.D.

Letter details

Letter no.
James Thomas Knowles
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
The Hollies, Clapham Common
Source of text
Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (William Dwight Whitney family papers (MS 555) Box 22, folder 584 1875 Feb. 8-11)
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9848F,” accessed on 27 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23