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Letter 7116

Darwin, C. R. to Orton, James

24 Feb [1870]

Summary

Thanks JO for his The Andes and the Amazon.

Is sorry he has failed to get any information on the horse’s tooth.

Transcription

Down. | Beckenham. | Kent. S.E.

Feb. 24th

My dear Sir

I received the day before yesterday your “Andes & the Amazon”, &most sincerely thank you for your present.— I feel deeply sensibleof the honour which you have conferred on me by your kindly expressedDedication, & for the frequent notices in your text of my Journal.f2You will make this old book of mine quite well known in your great country.

Your work is most elegantly illustrated & got up: I have as yet hadtime to read only as far as page 105, but I like extremely all that Ihave read, & I look forward with much pleasure to each evening forcontinuing it

Your account of Quito is quite new to me & your descriptions bring thescenes before my eyes with much power.f3 It has caused me much regretthat I failed to procure information about the Horse’stooth: I wrote a second time & called on Prof. Huxley.f4 Each time I amsure he intended to compare the tooth & give his judgment; but in fact heundertakes much more than mortal man can do, & is half-workedto death.— I hope & fully expect that your book will be in everyway highly successful.

With cordial thanks, believe me | Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin

History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries

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Footnotes

f1
The year is established by the reference to Orton 1870 (see n. 2, below).
f2
CD refers to Orton 1870, and to his own Journal of researches.There is an annotated copy of Orton 1870 in the Darwin Library–CUL(see Marginalia 1: 644). The dedication reads: ‘To Charles Darwin,M.A., F.R.S., F.L.S., F.G.S., whose profound researches have thrown somuch light upon every department of science, and whose charming“Voyage of the Beagle” has so pleasantly associated his name withour southern continent, these sketches of the Andes and the Amazonare, by permission, most respectfully dedicated.’
f3
See Orton 1870, pp. 55–84.
f4
Orton had sent CD a tooth from the fossil skull of a horse that hehad found in the valley of Quito in Ecuador, hoping to have thespecies identified (see Correspondencevol. 17, letter from James Orton, 8 September 1869). CD first wrote toThomas Henry Huxley about the find in his letter of 21 September[1869] (ibid.). CD’s second letter has not been found. CD was lastin London from 1 to 9 November 1869 (ibid., Appendix II).
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