May go to Paris next summer about barnacles.
Unable to appreciate second volume of Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos .
Recommends review by Sir John Herschel [Edinburgh Rev. 87 (1848): 170–229].
Recommends book by Mary Somerville [Physical geography (1848)].
Mentions article [on species] by M. E. Chevreul [Ann. Sci. Nat. (Bot.) 3d ser. 6 (1846): 142–214].
Down, Farnborough, Kent
I am extremely much obliged for all the great trouble you have taken so kindly about
Darluc. I think that probably next summer I shall have to go
to Paris about my Barnacles and I shall then know where I can
see this most troublesome book, but I will, also, call at Bailliere's in Regent St.— The Barnacles will put off my species
book for a rather long period.— Thank you for forwarding to me
I believe your judgment to be quite right about the Second vol. of Kosmos, but I confess with shame I was unable to appreciate its merits.
Such long semi-antiquarian discussions appeared to me out of proportion to the rest of
the book, and hardly compatible with a grand coup d'œil of the whole
universe. But then I am such a Goth that I have some
prejudice against antiquarianism, which is a bold confession when made to you. Did you read Herschel's review of Kosmos in the
Edinburgh; it struck me as very good. From all I hear, I
should expect that M
Once again thank you much for all your trouble about Darluc, and believe me | dear Cresy | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
Pray remember me to your father.
- f1 1171.f1Dated by the publication date of Somerville 1848 and on the assumption that CD wrote soon after he had read volume two of Humboldt 1846–8, as mentioned in the letter (see nn. 6 and 10, below).
- f2 1171.f2Darluc 1782–6. See letter to Edward Cresy, [before May 1848?].
- f3 1171.f3No such visit was made. CD never left Britain after his return from the Beagle voyage. He eventually read Darluc 1782–6 in January 1851 (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV).
- f4 1171.f4Hippolyte Baillière, a bookseller who specialised in French medical and scientific works (Modern English Biography).
- f5 1171.f5‘M
r W’ has not been identified.
- f6 1171.f6A. von Humboldt 1846–8, the English translation by Elizabeth Juliana Sabine. CD refers to the second volume, published in 1848, which he recorded having read in May (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV). Volumes one and two are in the Darwin Library–Down.
- f7 1171.f7Volume two of A. von Humboldt 1846–8 opens with a section entitled ‘Incitements to the study of nature’, comprising a history of poetic descriptions of nature, landscape painting, and the culture of exotic plants. The remaining pages deal with the history of the contemplation of the universe from the earliest times to the modern period.
- f8 1171.f8Both of Cresy's parents wrote books devoted to ancient and medieval architecture. Edward Cresy Sr was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (DNB).
- f9 1171.f9Herschel 1848. The review appeared in the January issue of the Edinburgh Review. Praising Alexander von Humboldt for his knowledge, John Frederick William Herschel reviewed volume one of the German edition (A. von Humboldt 1845–62) favourably and expected volume two (only part of which was available to him in proof-sheets) to be a valuable, albeit more literary and less scientific, contribution.
- f10 1171.f10Mary Somerville's book (Somerville 1848) was published late in April (Publishers' Circular, 1 May 1848, p. 147).
- f11 1171.f11Michel Eugène Chevreul. See Variation 2: 129, where CD cited Chevreul 1846, p. 189, on the vigour of crossed fruit trees.
- f12 1171.f12CD recorded reading the second edition of Alexandre Pierre Odart's treatise on the botany of vines (Odart 1849) in December 1851 (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV). This work is cited in Variation 1: 133, 375; 2: 278. CD's annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL.