To Leonard Jenyns 7 January 
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Jenyns
I am very much obliged for your letter.1 It is of great use & interest to me to know what impression my Book produces on philosophical & instructed minds. I thank you for the kind things which you say; & you go with me much further than I expected.— You will think it presumptuous, but I am convinced, if circumstances lead you to keep the subject in mind, that you will go further. No one has yet cast doubt on my explanation of the subordination of group to group, on homologies, Embryology & Rudimentary organs; & if my explanation of these classes of facts be at all right, whole classes of organic beings must be included in one line of descent.— The imperfection of the geological Record is one of greatest difficulties (by the way, Lyell, who is convert, does not think that I have exaggerated imperfection). During earliest period the record would be most imperfect, & this seems to me sufficiently to account for our not finding intermediate forms between the classes in the same great Kingdoms.—
It was certainly rash in me putting in my belief of probability of all beings having descended from one primordial form; but as this seems yet to me probable, I am not willing to strike it out.—2 Huxley alone supports me in this, & something could be said in its favour.—
With respect to man, I am very far from wishing to obtrude my belief; but I thought it dishonest to quite conceal my opinion.—3 Of course it is open to everyone to believe that man appeared by separate miracle, though I do not myself see the necessity or probability.—
Pray accept my sincere thanks for your kind note. Your going some way with me gives me great confidence that I am not very wrong. For a very long time I halted half-way; but I do not believe that any enquiring mind will rest half-way. People will have to reject all or admit all,—by all I mean only the members of each great Kingdom.—
My dear Jenyns | Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin
Thanks LJ for his letter on Origin. Finds LJ agrees with him more than CD had expected.
Discusses problems of geological record, single primordial form, and man.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2644,” accessed on 24 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2644