CD hopes Woodward was not the Athenæum reviewer. "The manner in which he drags in immortality, & sets the Priests at me … is base".
JDH has made CD feel he can "face a score of savage reviewers".
H. C. Watson has written to him in tremendous praise of the Origin.
Wells Terrace | Ilkley, Otley | Yorkshire
My dear Hooker
I cannot help it, I must thank you for your affectionate & most kind note. My head will be turned. By Jove I must try, & get a bit modest. I was a little chagrined by review. I hope it was not Woodward. As advocate he might think himself justified in giving argument only one side. But the manner in which he drags in immortality, & sets the Priests at me & leaves me to their mercies, is base. He would on no account burn me; but he will get the wood ready & tell the black beasts how to catch me.— I will not say to soul that he is author.—
It would be unspeakably grand if Huxley were to lecture on the subject, but I can see this is mere chance: Faraday might think it too unorthodox.
I cannot help being sorry about H. C. Watson: he has helped me so kindly & liberally. I had a letter from him with such tremendous praise of my book, that modesty (as I am trying to cultivate that difficult herb) prevents me sending it you, which I shd have liked to have done, as he is very modest about himself.—
You have cockered me up to that extent, that I now feel I can face a score of savage Reviewers.— I suppose you are still with the Lyells—give my kindest remembrances to them. I triumph to hear that he continues to approve.
Believe me | Your would-be-modest friend | C. D.
- f1 2542.f1Dated by the relationship to the letter from J. D. Hooker, [21 November 1859].
- f2 2542.f2Letter from J. D. Hooker, [21 November 1859].
- f3 2542.f3The author was in fact John R. Leifchild (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [20 November 1859], n. 2).
- f4 2542.f4Thomas Henry Huxley was hoping to deliver a lecture at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on CD's species views. See letter from J. D. Hooker, [21 November 1859].
- f5 2542.f5Michael Faraday, the director of the laboratory and Fullerian professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution, was a member of the Sandemanian congregation, a devout Protestant sect that practised primitive Christianity.
- f6 2542.f6Hewett Cottrell Watson's fourth volume of his flora of Britain (Watson 1847–59) had been unkindly reviewed in Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette. See letter to J. D. Hooker, [20 November 1859], and letter from J. D. Hooker, [21 November 1859]. Francis Darwin's edition of CD's letters erroneously gives the name of T. H. Huxley instead of Watson here (LL 2: 229).
- f7 2542.f7Letter from H. C. Watson, 21 November .