Letter icon
Letter 506

Darwin, C. R. to Whewell, William

16 Apr [1839]

    Summary Add

  • +

    Thanks WW for wedding gift.

  • +

    Expresses admiration for his History of the inductive sciences [1837].


My dear Whewell

I have been very much flattered by your “marriage gift” and kind note. I assure you very few have given me more pleasure.— Mrs Darwin desires me to give you her best thanks for it.— I hope, sometime when you are in town & happen to be disengaged, we may see you in this house.— I have hardly done more than dip into Herman & D. but I intend beginning it immediately.

A short time since I finished, having only skimmed parts before, another & quite different production of yours,—the Hist of Inductive Sciences, —& I will run the risk of appearing exceedingly presumptuous by telling you how much I enjoyed it—to see so clearly the steps by which all the great scientific discoveries have been come to is a capital lesson to every one, even to the humblest follower of science & I hope I have profited by it— When I closed your third volume I wished much to say my thanks to you, and now, however presumptuous it may have been, I have satisfied myself by saying them.

Believe me | Most truly Yours | Chas. Darwin
12 Upper Gower St

April 16th

Pray excuse me troubling you with this letter all the way to Cambridge, per post, but I had no other way of sending it.—

    Footnotes Add

  • +
    f1 506.f1
    See letter from William Whewell, 11 April 1839.
  • +
    f2 506.f2
    Whewell 1837. CD's annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL. According to CD's record of his reading (DAR 119; Vorzimmer 1977) he read Whewell 1837 in the autumn of 1838, noting ‘References at end’. CD had obtained a copy of the work in 1837 (see letter to Charles Babbage, [June–September 1837]).
Maximized view Print letter