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Letter 1744

Darwin, C. R. to Council, Royal Society of London

18 Aug 1855

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    Recommends publication of W. B. Carpenter's paper on Orbitolites [Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 146 (1856): 181–236]. Discusses style and the cost of the plates.

Transcription

To the Council of the Royal Socy

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I recommend Dr Carpenter's paper on Orbitolites to be printed in the Transactions. Though written, as it appears to me, in too diffuse a style, I cannot point any particular portion which could be condensed.

With respect to the publication of the very beautiful drawings, I feel much difficulty: their cost, I apprehend, would be very great, & there does not seem to me, sufficient new matter of physiological importance in the memoir to justify going to a very great expence. Dr Carpenter seems rather to overrate the novelty of connecting forms, apparently very different, by intermediate structures; though he most justly appreciates the importance of always attempting to do this, & he gives, under the form of Canons, the processes which all sound naturalists have long endeavoured to carry out. Very many of the figures are given to illustrate intermediate forms and variations.—

I would, therefore, suggest that the author himself should be consulted as to how many Plates would contain those figures, which he considers as most important.—

Ch. Darwin.
Down Augt 18th 1855.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1744.f1
    Carpenter 1855. William Benjamin Carpenter's paper on the fossil shells of foraminifera, called by him ‘Orbitolites’, was read 14 June 1855 and printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London in 1856.
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