Recommends publisher for HWB; admires J. van Voorst but suggests Murray.
In reply to HWB's letter [missing], comments on neuters and mimicry.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
Your letter, like every one that I have received from you, has been a mine of wealth
& has interested me greatly. But first for the most
important point, viz your Book of Travels, & I hearily rejoice that you intend
publishing. I sh
By the way here is case in point! Colburn did not value my Journal of
Researches & would never, I am sure, have published a second Edit. I took it
from Colburn & sold it to Murray & it has long &
great sale up to present day.—
— If you sh
Now for a few words on Science.— Many thanks for facts on Neuters. You cannot tell how I rejoice that you do not think what I have said on subject absurd.— Only 2 persons have ever noticed it to me!— Viz the bitter sneers of Owen in Eding. Review, & my good friend & supporter Sir C. Lyell, who could only screw up courage to say ``well you have manfully faced the difficulty''.—
What a wonderful case of Volucella, of which I had never heard; I had no idea such a case occurred in nature: I must get & see specimens in Brit. Museum.— I hope & suppose you will give a good deal of Nat. History in your Travels; everyone cares about Ants— more notice has been taken of Slave Ants in the Origin that of any other passage.—
I fully expect to delight in your Travels. Keep to simple style as in your excellent letters,—but I beg pardon I am again advising.
What a capital paper yours will be on mimetic resemblances.— You will make quite a new subject of it.— I had
thought of such cases as a difficulty. & once when corresponding with
My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
- f1 3266.f1See letter from H. W. Bates, [before 25 September 1861].
- f2 3266.f2CD had encouraged Bates to write an account of his eleven-year-long travels in the Amazon basin in South America (see letter to H. W. Bates, 4 April ).
- f3 3266.f3John Van Voorst, the owner of Van Voorst publishing house in Paternoster Row, London, was a major publisher of works on natural history.
- f4 3266.f4Bates's work, The naturalist on the river Amazons, was published by John Murray in 1863.
- f5 3266.f5Charles Lyell had served as an intermediary in CD's negotiations with John Murray over the publication of Origin. See Correspondence vol. 7, especially the letters to Charles Lyell, 28 March  and 30 March , and to John Murray, 31 March .
- f6 3266.f6The publishing firm of Henry Colburn, of Great Marlborough Street, London, had published CD's account of the Beagle voyage (Journal and remarks) in 1839 as volume 3 of Robert FitzRoy's Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle. Later in the same year, Colburn reissued the work separately under a new title, Journal of researches (see Correspondence vol. 2). For CD's displeasure with Colburn over the handling of the publishing of Journal of researches, see Correspondence vol. 3, letters to John Murray, 17 March  and 12 April . Murray had issued a new printing of the work, the tenth thousand, in 1860 (see Freeman 1977, pp. 31--40).
- f7 3266.f7See Correspondence vol. 10, letter to John Murray, 28 January .
- f8 3266.f8Bates was unaware of the practice of selling the publication rights for a specific edition (see letter from H. W. Bates, 30 September 1861).
- f9 3266.f9The reference is to the discussion in Origin of how natural selection could account for the existence of neuter insects, a problem that CD admitted had at first seemed `insuperable, and actually fatal to my whole theory' (Origin, p. 236). Using the sterile worker ants as his model, CD suggested that even though they were unable to propagate their own kind, `selection may be applied to the family, as well as to the individual, and may thus gain the desired end.' (ibid., p. 237).
- f10 3266.f10The reference is to Richard Owen's review of Origin ([R. Owen] 1860b, pp. 524--6). For a reference by Charles Lyell to the discussion in Origin of `working ants', see Correspondence vol. 7, letter from Charles Lyell, 3 October 1859.
- f11 3266.f11The information on Volucella, commonly known as the hover-fly, was included in the letter from H. W. Bates, [before 25 September 1861]. See also letter from H. W. Bates, 30 September 1861. In November 1861, CD visited the British Museum and examined the exhibition of South American insects collected by Bates (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 November ).
- f12 3266.f12A paper by Bates on mimetic butterflies was read before the Linnean Society of London on 21 November 1861 (Bates 1861b).
- f13 3266.f13The reference may be to Cuthbert Collingwood's paper on what he called `homomorphism' or `representative form' (Collingwood 1860a). Collingwood had sent CD a copy of the work, which is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL. See letter to Cuthbert Collingwood, 14 March . CD may also have read another of Collingwood's papers on this topic (Collingwood 1860c).