From Henry Walter Bates 6 January 1862
King St Leicester
6 Jany 1862
My Dear Sir
I have now finished the rough draught of 5 chapters of my book & send you by this post the 2nd for perusal according to your kind offer to do so. I do not know how I shall repay you for all this.1
Your suggestions on 1st chapter shall be all carried out.2 Your good opinion has delighted my Father & Brother as well as myself.3 The recommendation to alter the arrangement 〈 〉 putting the historical sketch last is just the kind of correction that I feel most to need.4 As to your statement that the argument on the effects of climate on dress is original & you are certainly too generous:5 I find there is something to the same effect in your “Journal”, (popular ed. p 381)6 as my notions were suggested whilst on the Amazons the two conclusions have been derived independently & therefore my remarks will be interesting; but I must quote your passage in a note.7
〈 〉 loose statement of the rocks being cretacean is der〈ived〉 from Mr Wallace’s book;8 No 〈fossil〉 was found & therefore it is useless to employ the word. I shall feel obliged to introduce a little Geology—so much as I observed which contributes to explain the latest changes & therefore connects itself with Geograph. Distribution of the Fauna. I must consult some Geologist before I do it.— One of my little theories is that part of the Delta of the Amazons was land probably an island whilst most of the Alluvial plain was under water; & that the Amazon waters have broken through it. I shall be careful however not to advance too much in the book.
As to explaining the “We” 〈you〉r remark shows me that there must 〈be so〉mething very abrupt & unsatisfactory in my commencement! I will add a straight forward preface 〈e〉xplaining the object of journey of Mr 〈W〉allace & self &c &c.—or would you incorporate the explanation in the text of 1st chapter.9
Please criticize this 2nd chapter without reserve. I am not satisfied with the arrangement of the matter nor with the argument on the text of Burmeister’s remarks.10 But I know you will be candid with me as before.
Yours sincerely | H W Bates
C. Darwin esq.
Sends CD ch. 2 of his book [The naturalist on the river Amazons] for suggestions, having accepted CD’s recommendations concerning ch. 1.
Effects of climate on dress in ch. 1 similar to, but independent of, notions expressed by CD in his Journal of researches [p. 381].
On geology, book deals with distribution and theory of deltas of the Amazon.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3377,” accessed on 30 April 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3377