Thanks AG for his essay on geology and Athenian history [see 5784].
Comments on French rejection of evolution. "How strange that the country of Buffon, Geoffroy and especially Lamarck should now cling to species as immutable creations."
Variation will soon appear in French.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
I thank you for your interesting essay on the influence of the Geological features of the country on the mind & habits of the ancient Athenians, & for your very obliging letter.
I am delighted to hear that you intend to consider the relations of
fossil animals in connection with their genealogy,; it will afford you
a fine field for the exercise of your extensive knowledge & powers of
reasoning. Your belief will, I suppose at present, lower you in the
estimation of your countrymen; but, judging from
the rapid spread in all parts of Europe, excepting France, of the
belief in the common descent of allied species, I must think that
this belief will before long become universal. How strange it is
that the country which gave birth to Buffon, the elder
Geoffroy & especially to Lamarck sh
My work on Variation &c under Domestication will appear in a French translation in a few months time, & I will do myself the pleasure & honour of directing the publisher to send a copy to you to the same address as this letter.
With sincere respect | I remain dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin
- f1 5794.f1The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Albert Gaudry, 11 January 1868.
- f2 5794.f2See letter from Albert Gaudry, 11 January 1868 and n. 2.
- f3 5794.f3See letter from Albert Gaudry, 11 January 1868 and n. 3.
- f4 5794.f4CD refers to Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, and Jean Baptiste de Lamarck. On the reception of CD's work in France, see Stebbins 1988 and J. Harvey 1997.
- f5 5794.f5A French translation of Variation was published in 1868 (Moulinié trans. 1868); the first volume appeared at the end of March (letter from C.-F. Reinwald, 26 March 1868). On the preparation of the translation, see Correspondence vol. 15. Gaudry's name appears on the presentation list for the French edition (see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV).