As noted by Janet Browne, "Charles Darwin idolised his older brother, and for a long time afterwards Erasmus remained one of the most important figures in his personal and intellectual life. Their relationship was marked by close bonds of mutual regard, ties far stronger than mere brotherly concern. As children they shared boyish enthusiasms, finding each other's company congenial. As adults they were alike in many ways…"
Charles and Erasmus certainly shared books. In a letter from Erasmus to his brother, dated 8 March 1825, Erasmus notes "…you may take Hunter or any other book you choose…" before requesting some books to be sent to him. The reference to Hunter is probably to a work by either William Hunter, the anatomist, or his brother, John Hunter, surgeon and anatomist. The Correspondence of Charles Darwin notes that a copy of a work by John Hunter was in Charles' library at Down House. However, it is also possible that the reference is to the present volume.
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