Congratulates EH on birth of child.
Mentions projected translation of Generelle Morphologie.
Comments on EH's last book [Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte]. Criticises EH's statements on palaeontology.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Nov 19. 1868
My dear Haeckel
I must write to you again for two reasons. Firstly to thank you for
your letter about your baby, which has quite charmed both me & my
wife. I heartily congratulate you on its birth. I remember being
surprized in my own case how soon the paternal instincts became
developed, & in you they seem to be unusually strong. I know well the
look of a baby's ``hind legs'' but I sh
I hope the large blue eyes & the principles of inheritance will make your child as good a naturalist as you are; but judging from my own experience, you will be astonished to find how the whole mental disposition of your children changes with advancing years. A young child & the same when nearly grown sometimes differ almost as much as do a caterpillar & butterfly.
The second point is to congratulate you on the projected translation
of your great work—about which I heard from Huxley last Sunday.
I am heartily glad of it; but how it has been brought about I know
not, for a friend who supported the proposed translation at Norwich
told me he thought there w
I have been reading a good deal of y
Although you fully admit the imperfection of the Geological record,
yet Huxley agreed with me in thinking that you are sometimes rather
rash in venturing to say at what periods the several groups first
appeared. I have this advantage over you that I remember how
wonderfully different any statement on this subject made 20 years ago
Reflect on the monocotyledonous plant just discovered in the primordial formation in Sweden.
I repeat how glad I am at the prospect of the translation, for I fully believe that this work & all your works will have a great influence in the advancement of Science.
Believe me my dear Häckel | your sincere friend | Charles Darwin
- f1 6466.f1See letter to Ernst Haeckel, 7 November 1868, and letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 November 1868. Haeckel's baby was Walter Haeckel.
- f2 6466.f2See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 November 1868. Haeckel's wife was Agnes Haeckel.
- f3 6466.f3CD had visited Thomas Henry Huxley on 15 November 1868 (see letter from T. H. Huxley, 13 November 1868).
- f4 6466.f4Haeckel had asked Huxley to try to persuade the Ray Society to publish a translation of Generelle Morphologie (Haeckel 1866; letter from Ernst Haeckel to T. H. Huxley, 21 September 1868, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives, Huxley papers, 17: 189). Although Haeckel agreed to remove all the philosophical and polemical parts of the original, the translation was never made (see Krauße 1987, p. 79).
- f5 6466.f5CD refers to Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (Natural history of creation; Haeckel 1868c). The book was a collection of Haeckel's lectures.
- f6 6466.f6See Haeckel 1868c, pp. 99--201. CD had visited Charles Lyell on 14 November 1868 (see letter to G. H. Lewes, [13 November 1868]).
- f7 6466.f7See Haeckel 1868c, pp. 227--58. Haeckel had included at the end of his book eight tables; these were hypothetical genealogical trees of different groups of organisms.
- f8 6466.f8In Origin 5th ed., p. 380, CD referred to the discovery of remains of monocotyledonous plants in a Swedish formation by Otto Martin Torell. A brief notice of Torell's discovery of fossils had appeared in the Report of the thirty-eighth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Torell 1868). The discovery of the monocotyledonous plant was not mentioned in the notice, but CD may have heard about it from Joseph Dalton Hooker, who was at the meeting as president of the association for 1868.