To A. R. Wallace 6 April 1859
Down Bromley Kent
April 6 /59
My dear Mr Wallace
I this morning received your pleasant & friendly note of Nov. 30th 1 The first part of my M.S is in Murray’s hands to see if he likes to publish it. There is no preface, but a short Introduction, which must be read by everyone, who reads my Book. The second Paragraph in the Introduction, I have had copied verbatim from my foul copy, & you will, I hope, think that I have fairly noticed your paper in Linn. Transacts—2 You must remember that I am now publishing only an Abstract & I give no references.— I shall of course allude to your paper on Distribution; & I have added that I know from correspondence that your explanation of your law is the same as that which I offer.—3 You are right, that I came to conclusion that Selection was the principle of change from study of domesticated productions; & then reading Malthus I saw at once how to apply this principle.—4 Geographical Distrib. & Geological relations of extinct to recent inhabitants of S. America first led me to subject. Especially case of Galapagos Islds —
I hope to go to press in early part of next month.— It will be small volume of about 500 pages or so.— I will of course send you a copy. I forget whether I told you that Hooker, who is our best British Botanist & perhaps best in World, is a full convert, & is now going immediately to publish his confession of Faith; & I expect daily to see the proof-sheets.—5 Huxley is changed & believes in mutation of species: whether a convert to us, I do not quite know.— We shall live to see all the younger men converts. My neighbour & excellent naturalist J. Lubbock is enthusiastic convert.
I see by Nat. Hist notices that you are doing great work in the Archipelago;6 & most heartily do I sympathise with you. For God sake take care of your health. There have been few such noble labourers in the cause of Natural Science as you are.
Farewell, with every good wish | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
P.S. | You cannot tell how I admire your spirit, in the manner in which you have taken all that was done about publishing our papers. I had actually written a letter to you, stating that I would not publish anything before you had published. I had not sent that letter to the Post, when I received one from Lyell & Hooker, urging me to send some M.S. to them, & allow them to act as they thought fair & honourably to both of us. & I did so.—7
First part of Origin MS is with Murray;
CD hopes he has noticed ARW’s work fairly.
ARW is right in thinking that CD was led to believe that selection was the principle of change from studying domesticated productions and that after reading Malthus he "saw at once how to apply this principle". Geographical distribution and geological relations of extinct and recent inhabitants of S. America first led him to the subject, "Especially case of Galapagos Islds". Hooker and Lubbock are full converts and Huxley now believes in species mutation. "We shall live to see all the younger men converts."
Praises ARW’s work and spirit.
CD had actually written a letter to ARW stating he would not publish before him but was persuaded by Lyell and Hooker to allow them to act "as they thought fair & honourably".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2449,” accessed on 24 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2449