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Darwin Correspondence Project

To F. J. Pictet de la Rive 24 December [1859]

Down Bromley Kent

Decr 24th

Dear Sir

I am very much obliged for your kind note of the 17th.— Messrs. Williams & Norgate sent the copy of my Book through their Leipzig House, & they inform me that you will receive it in the beginning of next month.—1 If it does not arrive, if you will take the trouble to inform me, I will most gladly send another copy. Although I have not the presumption to hope to change your opinions, yet nothing would give me so much satisfaction as to know that on the whole you thought favourably of my work.2 The objections & difficulties are of very gravest nature; & I rest my conviction solely on the fact, as it seems to me, that the theory explains large classes of facts otherwise inexplicable.— I hope that you will try to suspend your verdict till you have read the whole. I am now going at once to commence getting ready for press my larger Book, as quickly as my weak health permits. My Book has been successful here & I am now reprinting a second large Edition. It has made a few important converts, namely Lyell,—Hooker ourbest Botanist,—Huxley, an admirable zoologist—& Carpenter a learned physiologist.— I mention these facts in, I fear, a boastful spirit, in the hope of inducing you to read my little work with attention.3

With apologies for troubling you with these particulars, I beg leave to remain with most sincere respect, | Your faithful & obliged servant | Charles Darwin


CD had told Pictet de la Rive that he would be receiving a copy of Origin (see letter to F. J. Pictet de la Rive, 11 November [1859]). Williams and Norgate, booksellers specialising in European works, distributed copies of Origin to foreign naturalists for CD.
For Pictet de la Rive’s opinion of Origin, see Correspondence vol. 8, letter from F. J. Pictet de la Rive,19 February 1860.
Pictet de la Rive reviewed Origin in Archives des Sciences de la Bibliothèque Universelle 3 (1860): 233--55. CD thought that of all the reviews opposed to his theory, this was ‘the only quite fair one’ (Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Asa Gray, 20 April 1860). An annotated copy of the review is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL.


Sends Origin to FJP. "I rest my conviction solely on the fact, as it seems to me, that the theory explains large classes of facts otherwise inexplicable." Has made important converts: Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, and W. B. Carpenter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
François Jules Pictet de la Rive
Sent from
Source of text
Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire de Genève
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2598,” accessed on 21 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7