Thanks for two small works.
Will read essay on man [Entstehung des Menschengeschlechts] with much interest.
Generelle Morphologie reviewed by G. Bentham ["Anniversary Address", Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (1867–8): lviii–c].
Extremely sceptical of hare–rabbit hybrid.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
July 3 1868
My dear Häckel
Many thanks for your kind letter of June 22.
I am astonished at the amount of work which you are doing; but take care of yourself, & remember how easily the brain is injured & how long a time it takes to regain its strength, as I have known in several instances. Thank you much for the present of your two small works. I am particularly glad to receive that on Man, tho' probably less important under a scientific point of view than the other; for I intend to publish in about a year's time a short essay on the descent of Man, & this will include a long & full discussion on Sexual Selection. Hence I shall read with much interest your essay on Man, tho' it will take me some time as I get on so slowly with German.
Your great work on General Morphology is getting better
known in England, & I often see it alluded to. It has lately
been reviewed, but not altogether favorably, by M
I am very much obliged for your information about the
Hare--rabbits. I cannot express sufficient astonishment at
hearing that the hybrids are fertile inter se. If I did not
know that you yourself had examined these animals I sh
I do not in the least doubt the veracity of D
My health has been worse lately & if I can travel, I shall soon go to the sea for 5 or 6 weeks.— With most kind & cordial feelings towards you, | believe me, yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
- f1 6265.f1See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 22 June 1868.
- f2 6265.f2CD refers to Haeckel's `Monographie der Moneren' (Monograph on monera; Haeckel 1868a) and `Ueber die Entstehung und den Stammbaum des Menschengeschlechts' (On the origin and descent of the human races; Haeckel 1868b). There are copies in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL; the pages of Haeckel 1868a are uncut, but Haeckel 1868b is annotated. CD also refers to Descent, which was published in early 1871. CD cited Haeckel 1868b in Descent 1: 199.
- f3 6265.f3In his annual address to the Linnean Society, George Bentham included a detailed discussion of Haeckel's Generelle Morphologie (Haeckel 1866). He critised some parts as being too speculative or bewildering (Bentham 1868, pp. lxvi, lxxi n.). William Sweetland Dallas had also mentioned Haeckel 1866 in his letter to CD of 9 June 1868.
- f4 6265.f4See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 22 June 1868 and n. 4.
- f5 6265.f5A claim that hares and rabbits could be induced to breed in captivity, and that the hybrid offspring were fertile with one another for a number of generations, was made in Broca 1858--9, pp. 370--83. However, the principal source of this claim was rejected in Pigeaux 1867, where it was suggested that the supposed hybrids were `merely rabbits', like some other supposed wild hybrids. The author stated that, although it was evidently possible to cross the hare and the rabbit, it had not been established that the offspring were fertile.
- f6 6265.f6Johannes Ernst Conrad.
- f7 6265.f7The Darwin family spent from 17 July to 20 August 1868 at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight (Emma Darwin's diary (DAR 242)).