To James Dwight Dana 7 January 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Prof. Dana
I was most truly rejoiced to hear by your letter of Dec. 4th. that your health is considerably reestablished & that you are at work on Science again.—2 From one to three hours per day must be a great change to you; but for me during many years three hours has been a most unusually hard days work. I hope to God that your health will steadily, though slowly must be expected, improve.— I have received the printed Corrigenda; but I am sorry to say that your Manual has not arrived.3 I wrote to Geolog. Soc & it has not there arrived, for the Society as I heard this morning.4 I enclose a Photograph at your request; it was made by my eldest son & is the only one which I have.5 One almost too large for Post has been made in London.—6
My health of late has been very indifferent, & I have not seen one man of Science for months; so I really have no news. Man is our great subject at present; & Lyell has been working very hard & I cannot conceive why his Book has not appeared.7 Murray on day of sale disposed of 4000 Copies!!8 The fossil Bird with the long tail & fingers to its wings (I hear from Falconer that Owen has not done the work well) is by far the greatest prodigy of recent times.9 It is a grand case for me; as no group was so isolated as Birds; & it shows how little we know what lived during former times. Oh how I wish a skeleton could be found in your so-called Red Sandstone footstep-beds.—10
I am not at all surprised that you have not read the “Origin”;11 all my friends say it takes much thought (which rather surprises me) & most have had to read it two or three times.— I am at present at work on dry facts & dry Bones, preparing a work to be entitled “Variation under Domestication”.—12 Mr Esquereux has sent me some Books; I do not know his address; will you be so kind as to address & stamp the enclosed letter.—13
With cordial good wishes, believe me, Your’s very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Responds to JDD’s letter .
Discusses his own poor health.
"Man is our great subject at present."
Lyell’s book [Antiquity of man (1863)] sold 4000 copies on day of sale.
"The fossil bird [Archaeopteryx] … is a grand case for me." Wishes a skeleton could be found in the "so-called red sandstone foot-step beds".
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Dana, J. D.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3905,” accessed on 21 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3905