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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. R. Wallace   22 January [1869]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Jan 22nd.

My dear Wallace

Your intended dedication pleases me much & I look at it as a great honour & this is nothing more than the truth.2 I am glad to hear for Lyell’s sake & on general grounds that you are going to write in the Quarterly.3 Some little time ago I was actually wishing that you wrote in the Quarterly, as I knew that you occasionally contributed to periodicals, & I thought that your articles would thus be more widely read.

Thank you for telling me about the Guardian which I will borrow from Lyell.4 I did note the article in the Q. Journal of Science & put it aside to read again with the articles in Frazer & the Spectator.5

I have been interrupted in my regular work in preparing a new edit of the Origin, which has cost me much labour & which I hope I have considerably improved in two or three important points.6 I always thought individual differences more important than single variations, but now I have come to the conclusion that they are of paramount importance, & in this I believe I agree with you. Fleming Jenkyn’s arguments have convinced me.7

I heartily congratulate you on your new book being so nearly finished be

Believe me, | My dear Wallace | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. R. Wallace, 20 January 1869.
CD refers to the dedication of The Malay Archipelago (Wallace 1869a). See letter from A. R. Wallace, 20 January 1869 and n. 1.
See letter from A. R. Wallace, 20 January 1869 and n. 9. CD refers to Charles Lyell.
See letter from A. R. Wallace, 20 January 1869 and n. 8.
See letter from A. R. Wallace, 20 January 1869 and nn. 3 and 4. CD also alludes to an article in the Spectator (Anon. 1868), written in response to the article in Fraser’s ([Greg] 1868).
CD had started work on the fifth edition of Origin on 26 December 1868 (Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix II). He finished corrections on 10 February 1869 (see ‘Journal’, Appendix II).
The North British Review had published an unsigned article, with several criticisms of CD’s theory, by Henry Charles Fleeming Jenkin in June 1867 ([Jenkin] 1867). Wallace responded to these criticisms in his article ‘Creation by law’ in the Quarterly Journal of Science (Wallace 1867; see Correspondence vol. 15). For CD’s discussion of ‘individual differences’ and his response to Jenkin’s argument on how rarely variations in a single individual could be perpetuated, see Origin 5th ed., pp. 104–5.


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

[Jenkin, Henry Charles Fleeming.] 1867. The origin of species. North British Review 46: 277–318.

Origin 5th ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 5th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1869.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Response to letter about dedication of Malay Archipelago and several scientific papers.

Changes in 5th ed. of Origin.

Now feels individual differences of paramount importance. Fleeming Jenkin has convinced him about "single variations".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library Board (Add MS 46434: 165–6)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6567,” accessed on 22 June 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17