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Letter 7318

Tyndall, John to Darwin, C. R.

7 Sept 1870


Sends CD proofs of a lecture he will give at Liverpool. Asks CD to check the part referring to him.

Élie de Beaumont’s remark, in which he requires CD to recant before being admitted to the [French] Academy, is intolerable. “This spirit has much to do with the present condition of France.”



7th Sept.r 1870

My dear Darwin

I have asked Spottiswood & Co to send you the proof of a lecture whichI purpose giving in Liverpool on the 16thf1

I have had no books beside me in writing it; and I would thereforethank you much if you would glance at that portion of the proof whereyour name is introduced, and kindly inform me whether it is rightlyintroduced.f2 Prior to page 31 I do not think your nameoccurs: so that you will not have much to read.

Would you be good enough to send the proof to me with your remarks,if any, to the Royal Institution some time this week?f3 I am very anxiousto get it wholly off my hands.

I hope you are well. When I saw you last I was far from well—indeed I was very ill— this accounts for my unsociability.f4 I thank the gods I am now in a fair way. | Yours, ever | John Tyndall

I have been staying with Bence Jones for the last few days,f5

That remark of Elie de Beaumont where he requires you to recantprior to being admitted into the Academy is simply intolerable—f6 Thisspirit has much to do with the present condition of France.f7

DAR 106: C3–4



Tyndall refers to the printing firm of William Spottiswood andto the lecture ‘Scientific use of the imagination’, which he delivered to theBritish Association for the Advancement of Science in Liverpool on 16 September 1870 (Tyndall 1870).
See Tyndall 1870, pp. 31–2.
Tyndall was superintendent of the Royal Institution of GreatBritain (ODNB).
Tyndall may have met CD during one of his visits to London in 1870.
CD had sought medicaladvice from Henry Bence Jones in 1865 (see Correspondence vol. 13), andstill consulted him on occasion (see letter from H. B. Jones, 2 August1870).
The reference is to remarks by Léonce Elie de Beaumont in thedispute surrounding CD’s proposed election to the Paris Académie desSciences: ‘M. Darwin a fait de bons travaux qu’il a gâtés par desidées dangereuses et sans fondements: il faut attendre pour l’élirequ’il ait renoncé à ces idées’ (‘Mr. Darwin has done good workthat is tainted by dangerous and unfounded ideas: it is necessary towait until he has renounced these ideas before electing him’; Revue desCours Scientifiques, 23 July 1870, p. 529. See also the letter toArmand de Quatrefages, 23 August [1870] and nn. 5 and 6.
Tyndall alludes to the revolution of 1870 which brought an end tothe Second Empire in France. A provisional government was constitutedby republican deputies in Paris on 4 September after the defeat of theFrench army by German forces (see EB (1970)).
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