skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To E. B. Tylor   [28 January 1875]

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

My dear Sir

I have forwarded the certificate to Sir J. Lubbock. As I do not know Col: Fox personally I could sign only from general knowledge & this I have done with much pleasure.1

You will remember the review on your works in the Quarterly last year. This article contained a deliberately false & malicious attack on my son George.2 I am justified in saying this as Huxley Hooker & others compared my son’s Article with the Review, & as Hooker told Mr Murray it was “as base as it was baseless”.3 I know positively that this article was written by Mr Mivart & I wish to take every opportunity of saying how false a man I consider him to be

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Augustus Henry Lane Fox became a member of the Royal Society of London in 1876. John Lubbock was also a member of the society. Applications for fellowship of the Royal Society had to be signed from personal or general knowledge of the candidate.
In 1874, St George Jackson Mivart had published an anonymous essay review of anthropological works by Tylor and Lubbock in the Quarterly Review ([Mivart] 1874). In the course of this work he made critical remarks about George Howard Darwin’s article on marriage (ibid., p. 70). See also Correspondence vol. 22, Appendix V.
See letter to T. H. Huxley, 6 January 1875 and n. 1, and letter from J. D. Hooker, 16 January 1875. John Murray was the publisher of the Quarterly Review.


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

[Mivart, St George Jackson.] 1874b. Primitive man: Tylor and Lubbock. [Essay review of the works of John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor.] Quarterly Review 137 (1874): 40–77.


The review of EBT’s book ["Primitive Man: Tylor and Lubbock"] in the Quarterly Review [137: 40–77] last year contained a false and malicious attack on CD’s son George. CD knows it was written by St George Mivart. CD wishes to take every opportunity to say how false a man he considers him to be.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Burnett Tylor
Sent from
JA 28 75
Source of text
The British Library (Add MS 50254 ff. 81–2)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9832,” accessed on 24 July 2021,

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