4 June 2008
DARWIN, Charles (1809-1882). Autograph letter signed ('Charles Darwin') to [Dr R.H. Bakewell], Down, Bromley, 30 April n.y., warmly thanking the recipient for 'taking the trouble to send me the particulars of the very curious case of inherited malconformation, which has interested me very much', one page, 8vo, annotation identifying the recipient at bottom left (minor discolouration), backed onto card.
Dr R.H. Bakewell is described in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute as 'formerly Vaccinator-General and Medical Officer of Health for the Colony of Trinidad; author of the "Pathology and treatment of Smallpox"; Fellow of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, etc'; his correspondence with Darwin seems to be unrecorded by the Darwin Correspondence Project. The question of inherited malconformations was clearly an interesting one in relation to natural selection, and as early as 1846 Darwin was enquiring of J.D. Hooker as to a good source of information on the subject (letter of 13 March 1846).
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