Returns MS [of biography for Dictionary of contemporary biography (1861)]. Part was inaccurate, and there was an important omission so CD has had a new copy made.
Down Bromley Kent
Absence from home has prevented my returning your M.S. earlier.
Part was so inaccurate & there was so important an omission, that I have had a new copy made. If too long you can easily strike your pen through any part.—
Sir | Your obent sert | Charles Darwin
I return your own M.S. that you may see alterations.—
Darwin, Charles. M.A. Cantab. F.R.S an eminent naturalist, is distinguished
both as an author and a man of Science. He accompanied Capt. FitzRoy in his voyage
round the world in H.M.S Beagle during the years 1831 to
1836.— His Journal first appeared in
1839 as part of the general narrative of the voyage, and was subsequently
republished in a modified form under the title of Journal of Researches into the
Natural History and Geology of the countries visited by the Beagle.
In 1842 his work on the Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs
appeared, which was followed by two Volumes, namely, his Geological Observations on
Volcanic Islands and in 1846 on South America. Since this period he has
contributed several papers to the Geological Transactions and to other scientific
periodicals. His chief contribution to Zoology is the
``Monograph on the Family Cirripedia'' in two large volumes in which he points out
many curious and interesting particulars in relation to the history and economy of the
barnacles and sea-acorns, and furnishes a minute description of every known species of
the Family. He has recently (November 1859) published a work entitled ``The
Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or the preservation of favoured races
in the struggle for life;'' this volume, as stated in the introduction, gives only in
a condensed form the result of more than twenty years study; and will hereafter be
followed by more detailed treatise on the same subject.
- f1 2667.f1The recipient was the proprietor of the publishing firm Richard Griffin and Co. It was based in London, having moved from Glasgow in 1848.
- f2 2667.f2The date is inferred from the publication of [Griffin] ed. 1861.
- f3 2667.f3Charles Griffin intended to include an entry on CD in his forthcoming Dictionary of contemporary biography ([Griffin] ed. 1861). He had sent a provisional entry to CD (see n. 4, below).
- f4 2667.f4Griffin's manuscript, bearing CD's corrections, was returned with the letter. It is in the British Library (Add. 28509: 410). CD also enclosed a fair copy of the new text (see enclosure).
- f5 2667.f5The enclosure, which is a fair copy of the revised text, is bound with the letter and Griffin's original manuscript in the British Library (Add. 28509: 409). It is in the hand of an amanuensis, with minor corrections and alterations in CD's hand.
- f6 2667.f6In the published version, the first two sentences were altered to read: `Darwin Charles. M.A. Cantab. F.R.S., an eminent naturalist and author. When a very young man he accompanied Captain Fitzroy in his voyage round the world, in H.M.S. ``Beagle,'' during the years 1831--1836.' ([Griffin] ed. 1861, p. 122).
- f7 2667.f7The original wording of this section reads (British Library (Add. 28509: 410)):
His ``Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries visited by H.M.S. Beagle'' was published in 1839. In 1846 his ``Geological Observations on South America'' was published; and from time to time he contributed a great number of papers to the Geological Society and to the ``Magazine of Natural History''. But his profoundest and most philosophic work is the ``Monograph of the Family Cirripedia''.
- f8 2667.f8The sentence about Origin was added by CD to Griffin's manuscript, which did not refer to the book.
- f9 2667.f9The original reads: `unimpractable data'.
- f10 2667.f10The two final sentences were not included in the published version. Instead, the text reads ([Griffin] ed. 1861, pp. 122--3):
Mr. Darwin, although he has adopted conclusions contested by other naturalists, has always been very cautious in arriving at results without sufficient data. He is a clear and elegant writer; and his works, independently of their scientific value, are written in a style well calculated to render them highly attractive.