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185   Charles Darwin Autograph Letter Signed  $2500 $3587 $3946 4 You must login to place a bid.
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#185 - Charles Darwin Autograph Letter Signed Estimate: $20,000+

"The most memorable scientific expedition which ever left England"

Description Update

NOTE: this is an LS, not an ALS as described in the print catalog

Crisply penned LS, four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5 x 8, Down, Beckenham, Kent letterhead, November 5, 1876. Letter to British naturalist Henry Nottidge Moseley, in full: “I am very much obliged to you for your kind present of the Japanese book, with its curious & amusing drawings. As I am no believer in Physiognomy I will not trouble you to send me the other books. Many thanks also for the photograph (which however is not very clear) & for several of your papers on observations made during the voyage of the Challenger. It has been a grand thing for you to have taken part & done such capital work in the most memorable scientific expedition which ever left England. I have heard this morning from Ray Lankester, who tells me that you would like to pay me a visit. I can assure you that it will give me very great pleasure to make your acquaintance & to hear somewhat of what you have seen & done. But I must forewarn you that I am incapable of talking long with anyone, as my head suffers afterwards. If when you are next in London & can send me a line I shall be most happy if you will dine & sleep here. I can tell you the best route & time for this place when I hear from you.” In fine condition. This letter was collected as part of the Darwin Correspondence Project, 10663.

The final decade of Darwin’s life was characterized by an improvement in his general health and happiness—despite the background ache of such long-term ailments mentioned in this letter—and by a prodigious output of published work. One of his correspondents during this period was Henry Nottidge Moseley (1844-1891), the British naturalist who accompanied the Challenger expedition of 1872-6. The ‘capital work’ completed by the team of scientists aboard HMS Challenger included the discovery and cataloguing of over 4,000 previously unknown species and the foundation of the discipline of oceanography: Darwin’s recognition of the enormity of the expedition’s legacy involves a humble relegation of his own travels on the Beagle to a secondary position.

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