To Charles Lyell 12 [February 1860]
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Lyell
I send Bronn’s letter with translation of latter half made for me by my nephew.1
I send also letters by Asa Gray & Bunbury for the chance of your liking to see them.2 I had not intended to have sent them, as it seems so boastful to send them,—not that I have a shred of modesty in me.— I have answered Bunbury that in his sense the undulatory theory of Light is very far from a vera causa.3 Bunbury’s letter seems to me uncommonly well written. There is one sentence in A. Gray’s (if you read it) which you might misunderstand; he put my name before Forbes on Glacial distribution; & I told him in answer that I had written out the notion 3 or 4 years before Forbes, but that I had no sort of claim to notice on this head, as he published first, & that in the Origin I shd. of course take no notice of this.—4
In few days I will send you 1st part of Asa Grays excellent Review5 & notice by Bronn in Jahr-buch fur Mineralogie.—6
It is good job that I have heard today that Bronn will superintend the German Translation.—7 All these letters &c may be left at Erasmus’ marked not to be forwarded, as I shall be up in fortnight.—8
I think it was a great pity that Huxley wasted so much time in Lecture on preliminary remarks:9 he hardly gave idea of my notions; but his Lecture seemed to me very fine & very bold. I have remonstrated (& he agrees) against impression that he would leave that sterility was universal & infallible criterion of species.—10
You will, I am sure, make a grand discussion on Man. I am so glad to hear that you & Lady Lyell will come here.—11 Pray fix your own time & if it does not suit us we wd. say so. We could then discuss man well
Ever yours | C. Darwin
How much I owe to you & Hooker; I do not suppose I shd. hardly ever have published, had it not been for you
Encloses letters from H. G. Bronn, Asa Gray, and C. J. F. Bunbury, concerning the Origin.
Will send review by Gray and a notice by Bronn.
Says Bronn will superintend the German translation.
Comments on lecture by Huxley [at Royal Institution, 10 Feb 1860, Not. Proc. R. Inst. G. B. 3 (1858–62): 195–200]. Has remonstrated with him for saying sterility is "a universal and infallible criterion of species".
- fertility and/or sterility
- information, data, scientific description
- negative attitude/assessment
- reception of Darwinism
- species, speciation
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2693,” accessed on 24 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2693