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Letter 2741

Darwin, C. R. to Pictet de la Rive, F. J.

1 Apr [1860]

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    Thanks FJP for his review which CD has received and read. There have been many reviews in England opposed to CD but FJP's is "the single one which seems … perfectly fair & just & candid". The only difference between them is that CD "attaches much more weight to the explanation of facts, & somewhat less weight to the difficulties" than FJP. "I always jump at any theory which groups & explains facts".

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    Would be proud to send FJP a copy of his Journal of researches.


Down Bromley Kent

Ap. 1st.

Dear Sir

I received this morning your Review & have just read it. I thank you most cordially for it. There have been many reviews in England, opposed to me, but yours is the single one which seems to me perfectly fair & just & candid. I literally agree to every word you say. I admit there are no direct proofs of the greater modifications which I believe in.—   I most fully admit that I by no means explain away all the vast difficulties. The only difference between us is that I attach much more weight to the explanation of facts, & somewhat less weight to the difficulties than you do.—   I am conscious that I always jump at any theory which groups & explains facts; & attach too little weight to unexplained difficulties. Your mind is more cautious & I fear that the world would say more philosophical. The first part of your Review gives a really quite admirable condensation of my views.

Your fifth objection (p. 21) shows me that you think my idea of the spreading of the dominant species & their subsequent multiplication not satisfactory.—

Allow me again to express to you my cordial thanks. I never thought that I shd. read an opposed Review perfectly fair & just! I shall send it to Lyell, Hooker & Huxley to read.

With sincere respect | I remain yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

Would you like to possess a copy of my Journal of Researches during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle    I shd be truly proud to send it you?—   How should I send it.?

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2741.f1
    The year is given by the reference to Pictet de la Rive 1860.
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    f2 2741.f2
    There is an annotated copy of Pictet de la Rive 1860 in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL.
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    f3 2741.f3
    es formes zoologiques se sont modifi´ees de la mˆeme mani`ere sur toute la surface de la terre … Comment le choix naturel aurait-il amen´e ce parall´elisme.` (Pictet de la Rive 1860, pp. 252--3). [The zoological forms are modified in the same manner all over the face of the earth … How could natural selection bring about these parallelisms?]
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