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Letter 8335

Reade, W. W. to Darwin, C. R.

16 May 1872

Summary

WWR is beginning to appreciate CD’s warnings against his polemical writing.

Transcription

11 St. Mary Abbot’s Terrace | Kensington

May 16—72

My dear Sir

I really feel more grateful to you for your blame & for your warnings thanfor your praise, as I think that you would not bestow the former unlessyou felt some interest in my future career.f1 I shall bear in mindwhat you have said, and it accords with some reflections thatoccurred to me—as to whether punching the public’s head (such a thickhead too) is the way to improve its mind— Perhaps I have only bruisedmy own knuckles.

Respecting my travels I shall at least take care to state any scientificfact that I may have to contribute, in scientific language. But itwill be a personal narrative, & I shall put in nothing which willnot interest women—f2 My plan however is still rather cloudy. Ofcourse I will not ask you to answer this letter: if at any future time Istand in need of your advice or have anything wh. I think may interestyou I will write again. Pray do not hesitate to ask me for detailson any African point that may occur to you; all my raw material is atyour disposal. I only wish it was of more value—

I am afraid Mrs. Darwin is not pleased with the theologicalparts of the Martyrdom if she has read them and that she hasdiscovered the word “presumptuous” is applicable to the writer ofthe book—though not to the writer of the preface—f3 When my bookof travels comes out I shall venture to ask her for her opinion of it.

So then au revoir, and I need not say how earnestly I hope you mayhave good health which you know so well how to employ for our benefit& instruction   I remain | Yours very truly Winwood Reade

Trübner says that book is going off very well.f4

DAR 176: 60

true

Footnotes

f1
CD’s letter to Reade has not been found, but evidently concernedReade’s Martyrdom of man (Reade 1872; see letter from W. W. Reade, 3 May 1872.
f2
Reade refers to his African sketch-book (Reade 1873).
f3
See letter from W. W. Reade, 3 May 1872.
f4
Nicholas Trübner was the publisher of Reade 1872.
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