The mysterious Mr. Collins: Living for 140 years in Origin of Species

Mariko Ogawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In Origin of Species, the object of intense research for nearly a century and a half, Charles Darwin refers to a "Mr. Collins" as if he were a famous cattle breeder. In fact, there is no mention of a famous cattle breeder called Collins anywhere else in the literature, although there is a suitable candidate for this description by the name of "Colling." Darwin's reference to Mr. Collins is probably an error. This paper will attempt to establish the identity of the real Mr. Collins, and also to suggest why the mistake has gone unnoticed for so long.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-479
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the History of Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial selection
  • Breeder
  • Colling
  • Collins
  • Origin of Species
  • Shorthorns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The mysterious Mr. Collins: Living for 140 years in Origin of Species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this