To T. H. Huxley 22 December 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Huxley
I suppose that you have received Häckels book some time ago, as I have done.1 Whenever you have had time to read through some of it, enough to judge by, I shall be very curious to hear your judgment.— I have been able to read a page or two here & there, & have been interested & instructed by parts. But my vague impression is that too much space is given to methodical details, & I can find hardly any facts or detailed new views. The number of new words, to a man like myself weak in his Greek, is something dreadful. He seems to have a passion for defining, I daresay very well, & for coining new words.2 From my very vague notions on the book & from its immense size, I shd. fear a Translation was out of the question. I see he often quotes both of us with praise.—
I am sure I shd. like the book much, if I could read it straight off instead of groaning & swearing at each sentence.
I have not yet had time to read your Phys. book except one chapter; but I have just reread your book on “Man’s Place &c”, & I think I admire it more this second time even than the first.3 I doubt whether you will ever have time, but if ever you have, do read the Chapt. on Hybridism in new Edit. of Origin,4 for I am very anxious to make you think less seriously on that difficulty.— I have improved the Chapt. a good deal I think, & have come to more definite views— Asa Gray & Fritz Müller (the latter especially) think that the new facts on illegitimate offspring of dimorphic plants throw much indirect light on the subject.—5 Now that I have worked up Domestic Animals I am convinced of the truth of the Pallasian view of loss of sterility under Domestication & this seems to me to explain much.—6
But I had no vile intention, when I began this note, of running on at such length on Hybridism, but you have been Objector-General on this head.—7
Ever my dear Huxley | Your sincere friend | Ch. Darwin
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Huxley, T. H.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 196)
- Physical description
First impressions of Haeckel’s Generelle morphologie.
Has received THH’s [Lessons in elementary] Physiology 
and reread Man’s place.
Asks THH to read revised "Hybridism" chapter in new edition of Origin. Hopes it will change THH’s view.
Convinced of P. S. Pallas’ view of loss of sterility under domestication.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5315,” accessed on 13 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5315