Writes of "the Dr's" [Henry Holland's] mixed reactions to the book.
Adds a personal opinion, "it is the most interesting book I ever read".
I am so weak in the head that I hardly know if I can write, but at all events I will
jot down a few things that the D
In regard to your boils, he asked if you had considered how far they followed or were connected with the water cure to which he evidently attributed them.
For myself I really think it is the most interesting book I ever read, & can only compare it to the first knowledge of chemistry, getting into a new world or rather behind the scenes. To me the geographical distribution I mean the relation of islands to continents is the most convincing of the proofs, & the relation of the oldest forms to the existing species. I dare say I dont feel enough the absence of varieties, but then I dont in the least know if every thing now living were fossilized whether the palæontologists could distinguish them. In fact the a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts wont fit in, why so much the worse for the facts is my feeling.
My ague has left me in such a state of torpidity that I wish I had gone thro' the process of natural selection.
yours affec | E D
- f1 2545.f1The year is given by the reference to Origin.
- f2 2545.f2The reference is to the physician Henry Holland.
- f3 2545.f3See letter from Henry Holland, 10 December .
- f4 2545.f4See Origin, p. 219. The wording was altered in the second edition to make the transition between the discussion of Formica fusca and F. sanguinea clearer.
- f5 2545.f5Erasmus Alvey Darwin wrote ‘confidential’ over this sentence. Holland's article, entitled ‘Life on earth.— Relations of man to other animals’, was published posthumously (F. J. Holland ed. 1875, pp. 125–46). The paper may have been withdrawn from the Edinburgh Review, for which Holland usually reviewed, in order not to interfere with Richard Owen's review of Origin, which appeared in Edinburgh Review 111 (1860): 487–532. See Wellesley Index 1: 509 and 513.
- f6 2545.f6The reference is to the absence of intermediate forms in the fossil record.