Lot #142
Charles Darwin

Darwin double-checks the work of his trusted ally, hoping that “the name of the Trichoptera are correctly spelt”
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Darwin double-checks the work of his trusted ally, hoping that “the name of the Trichoptera are correctly spelt”

ALS signed “Ch. Darwin,” one page, 5 x 7.25, personal letterhead, March 12, 1866. Letter to an editor. In full: “I hope that you will verily oblige me by looking at all the proper names in the enclosed proof of a letter from Fritz Muller to be published in ‘Nature.’ I have no book to look to see whether the name of the Trichoptera are correctly spelt.—I hope that you will agree with me that the case is an interesting one.—Please return the proofs to me, and forgive me for troubling you.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds, light edge toning, and a trivial chip to the upper left corner.

Fritz Muller was a German biologist and naturalist who had emigrated to Brazil in 1852, and proved to be one of Darwin’s most helpful correspondents. He was an early advocate of Darwinism and published Für Darwin in 1864, which argued that the theory of evolution by natural selection was correct based on his observation that Brazilian crustaceans and their larvae could be affected by adaptations at any growth stage. Impressed with this work, Darwin sponsored the translation and publication of English editions. Darwin released his fourth edition of On the Origin of Species in 1866, and in it incorporated the work of his closest scientific friends, including Muller’s research on crustacean embryology. Muller also had access to a diverse array of flora and fauna given his location in Brazil, and was able to provide Darwin with trusted information on subjects he otherwise had no access to, including detailed diagrams, drawings, specimens, and seeds. Studies of these made their way into several of Darwin’s future works. A remarkable letter associating Darwin with one of his most trusted colleagues. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: January 23 - February 11

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