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    Charles Darwin Autograph Letter Signed "Ch. Darwin." Eight pages on two bifolia sheets, 8.5" x 7", Regents Park, [London]; March 22, [1868]. Written to naturalist John Jenner Weir, shortly after On the Origin of Species was published. Darwin shared evolution related content, writing:

    "I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons. I did not at all know that certain birds could win the affections of the females, more than other males, except indeed in the case of the Peacock. Conversely, Mr. Hewitt, I remember, states that in making hybrids the cock-pheasant would prefer certain hen-fowls and strongly dislike others. I will write to Mr. H. in a few days and ask him whether he has observed anything of this kind with pure unions of fowls, ducks &c. I had utterly forgotten the case of the Ruff; but now I remember having heard that it was polygamous; but polygamy with Birds, at least, does not seem common enough to have played an important part. So little is known of habits of foreign birds: Wallace does not even know whether Birds of Paradise are polygamous. Have you been a large collector of caterpillars, - I believe so. I inferred from a letter from Dr. Wallace of Colchester that he would account for Mr. Stainton and others rearing more [female symbol] than [male symbol] by their having collected the larger and finer caterpillars. But I misunderstood him, and he maintains that collectors take all caterpillars, large and small, for that they collect the caterpillars alone of the rarer moths or butterflies. What think you? I hear from Prof. Canestrini in Italy that females are born in considerable excess with Bombyx mori, and in greater excess of late years than formerly! Quatrefages writes to me that he believes they are equal in France. So that the further I go, the deeper I sink into the mire. With cordial thanks for your most valuable letters...We remain here till April 1st, and then hurrah for home and quiet work."

    Condition: Flattened mail folds, with toning at the edges. Light soiling, including a mark from a removed paper clip. Bumping and wear to corners. An unusually large and dramatic signature by Darwin.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2020
    22nd Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 566

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