Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 23, Number 4, December 2001.

ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)


2001 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


In 1985 when the editors of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin were assembling letters for volume 2 (1837-1843), the letter to be described below came to their attention. The editors decided to omit it from the edition because, despite the "Ch. Darwin" signature, it was not considered an authentic Darwin letter. Some scholars have questioned this decision, among them Professor Phillip R. Sloan, who thinks that it may be a Darwin letter, or that at least it should be included as a letter of uncertain authorship. Accordingly, the editors have decided to review the decision and to consider whether any new evidence has come to light since 1985.