From Eliza Meteyard 25 April 1865
Wildwood | North End | Hampstead. N.W.
April 25. 1865
Permit me to offer you, in the hope of your acceptance, the 1st Vol of the ‘Life of Wedgwood’.1 I regret I have to send the work in this partial form, but the envy and machinations of two unscrupulous men rendered the step imperative.2 The other volume will appear as soon as possible.
I lay the book before you with a trembling hand, and with sincere and great humility of spirit. I know what the subject requires—and I would that I had the highest human ability to do justice to my conception of it. Yet where I fail—my publishers splendid justice to the work—must be some compensation3—and the veneration I have for the names of Darwin and Wedgwood, and the liberal point of view from which I judge them and their opinions—must make up—as I hope it will in your kindly eyes—for deficiencies of various kinds. A bigot—whether social, political, or religious, could not estimate the character of two such men. Men far greater than their generation.
I am using your valuable letters as I go on.4 I shall not have space I fear to do full justice to the more scientific aspect of Wedgwood’s labours and bent of mind in this work5—but—as I am going to carry on the details of these and other subjects, through a work I shall call ‘Thomas Wedgwood and his Contemporaries’6 I shall be able to find a still more fitting place for many interesting though severer truths. As soon as I have finished the Life of Josiah Wedgwood, I will make what further extracts I need from your valuable letters—and carefully return them. Meanwhile they are in excellent keeping.
I trust your health has improved, for missing that—we miss almost the best thing we hold in life. Do not please trouble yourself to write— a line from Mrs Darwin just to say the book has reached you safely—is all that is required.
Dear Sir | With deep respect & grateful obligation | your’s faithfully | Eliza Meteyard
C. Darwin Esq.
Sends CD the first volume of her Life of Josiah Wedgwood [2 vols. (1865–6)].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4819,” accessed on 1 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4819