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Letter 698

Darwin, C. R. to Dieffenbach, Ernst

2 Oct 1843

    Summary Add

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    On ED's planned edition [German] of CD's Journal of researches.

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    Informs him of his forthcoming volume, Volcanic islands.

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    "I am well acquainted with your paper on Chatham Island ["An account of the Chatham Islands", J. R. Geogr. Soc. 11: 195–215], & … those passages on the very curious fact of the apparent specific differences of the birds there & at New Zealand".

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    Thanks ED for recognition of his "small labours in Natural History… . praise from men, like yourself, is the only, though quite sufficient, reward I ever expect or wish to obtain for my works. – I have lately had the extreme satisfaction of hearing that Hooker speaks highly of the accuracy … of my statements". Refers to Humboldt and Owen.

Transcription

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[On Dieffenbach's plan to publish Darwin's work on The structure and distribution of coral reefs, for which he wished to borrow the copper plates] “ … I am now preparing for press a very little volume on the volcanic islands, which we visited, but it will by no means have the extensive character you expect, & will be purely geological.— I saw so little of New Zealand, that I have determined not to treat of it. … I am well acquainted with your paper on the Chatham Island, & … those passages on the very curious fact of the apparent specific differences of the birds there & at New Zealand …”

[He thanks Dieffenbach for his appreciation of his] “small labours in Natural History … praise from men, like yourself, is the only, though quite sufficient, reward I ever expect or wish to obtain for my works.— I have lately had the extreme satisfaction of hearing that Hooker speaks highly of the accuracy … of my statements …” [Mentions Humboldt and Owen.]

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 698.f1
    Date obtained from Stargardt catalogue.
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    f2 698.f2
    An error for CD's Journal of researches, which Dieffenbach translated and published in 1844. No German translation of Coral reefs was published until 1876 (Freeman 1977, p. 62). The text in square brackets is translated from the Stargardt catalogue.
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    f3 698.f3
    Dieffenbach had been employed as naturalist by the New Zealand Company and had written a two-volume work on his travels (Dieffenbach 1843).
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    f4 698.f4
    Possibly a typographical error. Dieffenbach 1841 is an account of the Chatham Islands, a group of islands off New Zealand, not the Chatham Island of the Galápagos.
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