Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Darwin letter goes under hammer


The letter shows Darwin was fed up with his fame

A letter by Charles Darwin in which he rails against stupid questions being asked by "half the fools throughout Europe" has been sold in Somerset.

Experts think the letter was written at his home in Downe, Kent, in about 1879.

It reads: "I am tired to death with writing letters; half the fools throughout Europe write to ask me the stupidest questions."

It was predicted that it would make about 2,000 at an auction at Lawrences in Crewkerne and sold for 2,100.

It was auctioned in a joint lot, alongside a copy of a limited edition illustrated book, entitled Pedigree Of The Family Of Darwin.

Only 60 copies of the book, written in 1888 and detailing the history of the Darwin family, were published.

It sold for 3,800.

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