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Letter 9590

Darwin, G. H. to Darwin, C. R.

6 [Aug] 1874

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    Sends a draft of his letter to the editor of the Quarterly Review [137 (1874): 587–9], answering Mivart's charges. Encloses draft of CD's letter to John Murray, urging publication of GHD's defence, with George's amendments.


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[Enclosure: 1]


My dear Sir.

I write to beg you, as an act of justice, to induce the Editor of the Quarterly Review to insert verbatum, in a conspicuous place in the next number, the enclosed letter to the Editor from my son Mr George Darwin.

I further beg you to let me have an answer as soon as you conveniently can, in order that if you refuse this request, my son, may take any steps in his power by legal or other means to rebut the false and calumnious accusation made against him. I am further very anxious, on my own account to receive your answer as most unfortunately for me, if the Editor determines that my son's letter shall not appear, my relations with you must change. I think you will see that I have no choice on this head if you will put yourself in my position, and imagine me to be the proprietor of a review in which according to your own judgment and that of all the friends whom you had consulted, a calumnious and groundless attack on your son had appeared and no reparation was granted. In this case you would I feel sure, no longer treat me as your friend, and you would free yourself at the earliest possible period from all business transactions with me. I have written to you & not to the Editor, as I cannot expect fair treatment from him, after his employment of a gentleman to review my Descent of Man, who was notoriously pledged by two previous publications to review me in a hostile spirit. Anxiously waiting for your answer I remain my dear Sir,

Your's faithfully | Charles Darwin.

P S. The delay in my son's letter to the Editor has been caused by my having first heard of the article on the 25th of July when I at once wrote informed of it to my son at Cambridge. We had then carefully to compare the article with the Review, and both of us to consult friends, so that we might feel certain that there was no shadow of an excuse for the imputation.

If you have time to spare I should be glad if you would read my sons essay, in the spirit of a Judge on the Bench, and see how absolutely groundless are the odious charges of which we complain.


J | J Murray Esq.

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