To Albany Hancock [21 September 1849]1
Down Farnborough Kent
I trust to your kindness to forgive a stranger taking the liberty of addressing you. I have been for the last two years (at least such portions of it, as my health allowed me to work in) employed on a monograph, anatomical & systematic, of the Cirripedia; it was consequently with the greatest possible interest that I heard your admirable paper2 at Birmingham. I made a few remarks on the subject which will perhaps appear in the Athenæum.3 In S. America I collected an allied form, parasitic in the Concholepas & which probably will be included in the same order with your’s, but which I think must certainly form a very distinct family.4
I was very glad to hear from Mr Taylor5 that your Paper will appear in the Annals & then I shall be able to study it.—6 I have no sort of pretension to claim any favour from you, but if you could at any time spare me one or two specimens in the shell, preserved in Spirits, it would be the most material kindness.— I would pledge my honour not to publish anything so as to interfere with any further researches you might choose to make on the species.— No one can be aware better than yourself after your excellent labours on the Mollusca,7 that when one is employed on a Monograph, trifling points are found to be of interest, which are known to be so only to those employed on the class & it is on this grounds that I shd so much like to dissect a specimen of your genus.— I have now dissected species of all the genera of the Cirripedia, & have nearly finished the systematic part of the Pedunculata, but yet from the extreme slowness of rate, at which my health allows me to work, my monograph will not appear for one or two years,8 so that I could not encroach on anything which you might choose to publish further on the subject.
I trust that the great interest, which I have felt in your interesting discovery, will make you forgive my taking the liberty of asking you so great a favour as that contained in this letter.
I beg to remain. | With much respect | Yours faithfully | C. Darwin To | A. Hancock Esqre
Describes his research on cirripedes.
Comments on paper by AH ["Notice of a burrowing barnacle", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 2d ser. 4 (1849): 305–14]. Asks to borrow specimens.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1253,” accessed on 27 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1253