skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. R. Wallace   2 February [1869]1

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

Feb 2d

My dear Wallace

I must have expressed myself atrociously; I meant to say exactly the reverse of what you have understood.2 F. Jenkins argued in N. Brit. R. against single variations ever being perpetuated & has convinced me, though not in quite so broad a manner as here put.—3 I always thought individual differences more important, but I was blind & thought that single variations might be preserved much oftener than I now see is possible or probable.— I mentioned this in my former note merely because I believed that you had come to similar conclusion, & I like much to be in accord with you.— I believe I was mainly deceived by single variations offering such simple illustrations, as when man selects.—

We heartily congratulate you on the birth of your little daughter.—4 Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. R. Wallace, 30 January 1869.
CD refers to Henry Charles Fleeming Jenkin’s article in the North British Review ([Jenkin] 1867).
Violet Wallace. See letter from A. R. Wallace, 30 January 1869 and n. 2.


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


CD expressed himself badly. F. Jenkin’s argument was against single variations ever being perpetuated.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library Board (Add MS 46434: 168–9)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6591,” accessed on 22 June 2021,

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