To A. R. Wallace 22 September 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
I am much obliged for your extract;1 I never heard of such a case, though such a variation is perhaps the most likely of any to occur in a state of nature & be inherited, inasmuch as all domesticated birds present races with a tuft or with reversed feathers on their heads. I have sometimes thought that the progenitor of the whole class must have been a crested animal.
Do you make any progress with your journal of travels?2 I am the more anxious that you shd do so as I have lately read with much interest some papers by you on the Ouran Outang &c—in the Annals of which I have lately been reading the latter volumes.3 I have always thought that Journals of this nature do considerable good by advancing the taste for Natural history; I know in my own case that nothing ever stimulated my zeal so much as reading Humboldt’s Personal Narrative.4
I have not yet recd the last part of Linn. Tran. but your paper at present will be rather beyond my strength,5 for tho’ somewhat better I can as yet do hardly anything but lie on the sofa & be read aloud to. By the way have you read Tyler & Lecky.6 Both these books have interested me much. I suppose you have read Lubbock.7 In the last Chap. there is a note about you in which I most cordially concur.8 I see you were at the Brit. Assoc. but I have heard nothing of it except what I have picked up in the Reader.9 I have heard a rumour that the Reader is sold to the Anthrop. Soc.10 If you do not begrudge the trouble of another note (for my sole channel of news thro’ Hooker is closed by his illness)11 I shd much like to hear whether the Reader is thus sold. I shd be very sorry for it as the paper wd thus become sectional in its tendency. If you write tell me what you are doing yourself.
The only news which I have about the Origin is that Fritz Müller published a few months ago a remarkable book in its favour12 & 2ndly that a 2nd French edition is just coming out13
Believe me dear Wallace | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Crests as inherited variations; domesticated birds.
Belief in value of travel journals.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4896,” accessed on 14 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4896