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Record number: WCP1842

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Sent by:
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
6 April 1859

Sent by Charles Robert Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on 6 April 1859.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna
Verified by:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine (All except summary checked);


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)
  • publication (1)

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LETTER (WCP1842.1732)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46434 ff. 13-14
Copyright owner:
©William H. Darwin
Record scrutiny:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine;

Physical description

Transcription information




Down Bromley Kent

April 6 /[18]59

My dear Mr Wallace

I this morning received your pleasant & friendly note of Nov. 30th. The first part of my M.S is in Murrays hands to see if he likes to publish it. There is no preface, but a short Introduction, which must be read by everyone, who reads my Book. The second Paragraph in the Introduction, I have had copied verbatim from my foul copy, & you will, I hope, think that I have fairly noticed your paper in Linn. Transacts--You must remember that I am now publishing [[2]] only an Abstract & I give no references.-- I shall of course allude to your paper on Distribution; & I have added that I know from correspondence that your explanation of your law is the same as that which I offer.-- You are right, that I came to conclusion that Selection was the principle of change from study of domesticated productions; & then reading Malthus I saw at once how to apply this principle.-- Geographical Distrib.[ution] & Geological relations of extinct to recent inhabitants of S. America first led me to subject. Especially case of Galapagos Isl[an]ds.--

I hope to go to press in early [[3]] part of next month.-- It will be small volume of about 500 pages or so.-- I will of course send you a copy. I forget whether I told you that Hooker, who is our best British Botanist & perhaps best in World, is a full convert, & is now going immediately to publish his confession of Faith; & I expect daily to see the proof-sheets.-- Huxley is changed & believes in mutation of species: whether a convert to us, I do not quite know.-- We shall live to see all the younger men converts. My neighbour & excellent naturalist J. Lubbock is enthusiastic convert.

I see by Nat. Hist notices that you are doing great work in the Archipelago; [[4]] & most heartily do I sympathise with you. For God sake take care of your health. There have been few such noble labourers in the cause of Natural Science as you are.

Farewell, | with every good wish | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin [signature]


You cannot tell how I admire your spirit, in the manner in which you have taken all that was done about publishing our papers. I had actually written a letter to you, stating that I would not publish anything before you did had published. I had not sent that letter to the Post, when I received one from Lyell & Hooker, urging me to send some M.S. to them, & allow them to act as they thought fair & honourably to both of us. & I did so.--


This transcript is based on that produced by The Darwin Correspondence Project (http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/): see http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-2449

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