To Jean Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau 25 April 1
Down. | Bromley. Kent.
My dear Sir.
I received this morning your “Unité de l’Esp‘ece Humaine”, & most sincerely do I thank you for this, your very kind present.2 I had heard of and been recommended to read your articles, but not knowing that they were separately published did not know how to get them.— So your present is most acceptable, & I am very anxious to see your views on the whole subject of Species & variation; & I am certain to derive much benefit from your work. In cutting the pages I observe that you have most kindly mentioned my work several times.3
My views spread slowly in England & America; and I am much surprised to find them most commonly accepted by Geologists, next by Botanists and least by Zoologists.—4 I am much pleased that the younger and middle-aged Geologists are coming round; for the arguments from Geology have always seemed strongest against me. Not one of the older geologists (except Lyell) has been even shaken in his views of the eternal immutability of species— But so many of the younger men are turning round with Zeal that I look to the future with some confidence.—5
I am now at work on “Variation under domestication” but make slow progress.—6 it is such tedious work comparing skeletons—
With very sincere thanks for the kind sympathy which you have always shown me and with much respect | I remain, My dear Sir | Yours faithfully & obliged— | Charles Darwin.
I have lately read M. Naudin’s paper; but it does not seem to me to anticipate me, as he does not shew how Selection could be applied under nature;7 but an obscure writer on Forest Trees, in 1830, in Scotland, most expressly & clearly anticipated my views—though he put the case so briefly, that no single person ever noticed the scattered passages in his book—8
Comments on QdeB’s Unité de l’espèce humaine .
Discusses acceptance of his theory among scientists, especially geologists.
C. V. Naudin did not show how selection applied in nature, but Patrick Matthew clearly anticipated CD’s views.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3127,” accessed on 25 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3127