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Letter 7241

Darwin, C. R. to Haeckel, E. P. A.

23 June [1870]


Comments on new edition of EH’s book [Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, 2d ed. (1870)].

Mentions his own book [Descent].

Visit by Kölliker.


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

June 23d

My dear Häckel

I received this morning your present of the new Edit. & of twoEssays.f2 I see in one of these you, as usual, pile honours high on myhead.— As I leave home tomorrow morning for more than a week, Ihave thought that I would not delay in thanking you.—f3 I am delightedfor the sake of science & the public, & likewise for your own sake,to see the new Edition, which seems very greatly enlarged & I do notdoubt in all ways improved. For my own especial self, it makes me groana little, for my M.S is completed, so that I cannot profit by yourimprovements & additions:f4 it would, alas, from my wretched knowledge ofGerman take me a very long time to read the new Edition carefully.

In what I am going to send immediately to the Printers, I havetried to a certain extent to keep on distinct ground from you,& have much shortened some of the subjects which you have fully treated,& refer my readers to your works.f5 And I hope before very long yourMorphologie Gen: will be accessible to English Readers.f6

I do not know how my Book & your Book will be received by the English:I observe at present that there is some tendency to decry geneologicalclassification.— I have been rather better of late, & have workedharder than usual; but I suppose that my best day’s work is notone-third of what you can do. You seem a most indomitable worker.—I have seen no scientific man for a long time, except, about a monthago, Kölliker, whom I liked extremely.f7

Do not work too hard, & believe me, my dear Hackel with the sincerestesteem— yours very truly | C: Darwin

Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A-Abt. 1: 1–52/24)



The year is established by the reference to the second edition ofHaeckel’s Natürliche Schopfungsgeschichte (Haeckel 1870a).
CD refers to the second edition ofHaeckel’s Natürliche Schopfungsgeschichte (Haeckel 1870a); thereis a copy in the Darwin Library–Down. One of the articles thatHaeckel sent to CD may have been ‘Beiträge zur Plastidentheorie’,which was published in the issue of Jenaische Zeitschrift fürMedizin und Naturwissenschaft dated 30 May 1870 (Haeckel 1870b). CDwas mentioned on the first page. The other may have been ‘Das Leben inden grossten Meerestiefen’ (Haeckel 1870c), of which there is a copy in the DarwinPamphlet Collection–CUL.
CD was in London from 24 June to 1 July 1870 (CD’s ‘Journal’(Appendix II)).
CD refers to his manuscript for Descent. He referred to thesecond edition of Haeckel’s Natürliche Schopfungsgeschichte inDescent 1: 4.
In Descent 1: 4, CD wrote that if Haeckel’s NatürlicheSchopfungsgeschichte (Haeckel 1868) had appeared before his essay hadbeen written, he would probably not have completed it, and that allhis conclusions had been confirmed by Haeckel.
Haeckel’s Generelle Morphologie der Organismen (Haeckel 1866) has not beentranslated into English to date. See also Correspondence vol. 16,letter to Ernst Haeckel, 19 November 1868 and n. 4.
Rudolf Albert von Kölliker visited CD with Albert Günther on 15 April 1870 (letter from Albert Günther 12 April 1870; letter fromJ. V. Carus, 16 April [1870]).
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