To George Rolleston 5 September 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
You are very kind in telling me not to write; & though I am too hard worked, it is a pleasure to me to write, otherwise I would not do so.— Your note is a real gold-mine of facts & suggestions, all new to me.2 I am very glad to hear of Gratiolets remark,3 for I remember being very anxious to know how the case was; & I remember wishing to know how early an organ modified in a very unusual manner in its class appeared, relatively to its homologue in other members of the same class: & I thought that a Bat’s wing would be good case, but I could not find any description.—4
Your cases of analogous variations are very valuable to me, & indeed all your note.— I do not know whether Craniologists can be at all believed, who assert that the Head alters in shape after peculiar studies in the adult.— I may mention a little personal anecdote. I worked hard during voyage of the Beagle & was a very idle sportsman before; & when I returned after 5 years, my Father almost immediately exclaimed, “Why the shape of your head is altered.”—
I was much interested by your papers in Nat. Hist. R.5 & I was pleased to see in Silliman’s Journal that your article was specially noticed.—6
I have had a hard morning’s dissection at some plants & am tired & will not amuse myself, by scribbling any more.
With hearty thanks for favours past & to come! | Yours sincerely | Charles Darwin
GR’s letter is a gold-mine.
Pleased to have Pierre Gratiolet’s comment on the embryology of greatly modified organs
and GR’s valuable cases of analogous variation.
Doubts craniologists, but recounts his father’s opinion that the shape of CD’s head was altered when he returned from the Beagle.
- affinity and analogy
- negative attitude/assessment
- positive attitude/assessment
- structural characters
- theory (including philosophy)
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3245,” accessed on 1 June 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3245