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Letter 2515

Darwin, C. R. to Owen, Richard

11 Nov [1859]

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    Has asked his publisher to send a copy of Origin. Fears it will be "an abomination" in RO's eyes. Urges him to read it straight through, as it is a condensed abstract and will otherwise be unintelligible.


Down Bromley Kent [Ilkley]

Nov. 11th

Dear Owen

I have asked Mr Murray to send you a copy (as yet only an abstract) on the origin of species. I fear that it will be abominable in your eyes; but I assure you that it is the result of far more labour than is apparent on its face.— If you honour me by reading it at all, I beg you to read it straight through, otherwise from being much condensed it will be unintelligible. I fear that my meaning will not be clear to anyone, without a considerable amount of reflexion.— Whether I be in main part right, as I naturally think myself to be, or wholly wrong, the old saying of magna est veritas et prevalebit is a grand conclusion to all doubts.—

Pray believe me | Yours sincerely | Charles Darwin

I am hydropathising at Ilkley Wells & shall remain here some weeks longer & hope to get a little health. Should you wish, (which is not at all likely) to discuss by word of mouth or by letter any objections to my heteredox notions, I should be proud to answer them to the best of my power. But you are probably too much engaged to give up time to the question.—

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    f1 2515.f1
    For Owen's reply, see letter from Richard Owen, 12 November 1859.
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