To Ernst Haeckel 8 January 1867
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Jan 8th. 1867
My dear Prof. Haeckel
I received some weeks ago your great work.1 I have read several parts, but I am too poor a German scholar and the book is too large for me to read it all; I cannot tell you how much I regret this, for I am sure that nearly the whole would interest me greatly, and I have already found several parts very useful, such as the discussion on cells, and on the different forms of reproduction.2 I feel sure after considering the subject deliberately, and after consulting with Huxley, that it would be hopeless to endeavour to get a publisher to print an English translation; the work is too profound and too long for our English country-men.3
The number of new terms would also I am sure tell much against its sale; and indeed I wish for my own sake that you had printed a glossary of all the new terms which you use.4 I fully expect that your book will be highly successful in Germany; and the manner in which you often refer to me in your text, and your dedication and the title I shall always look at as one of the greatest honours conferred on me during my life.5
I sincerely hope that you have had a prosperous expedition and have met with many new and interesting animals6 If you have spare time, I should much like to hear what you have been doing and observing. As for myself I have sent the M.S. of my book on “Domestic Animals &c” to the printers; it turned out to be much too large; it will not be published I suppose until next November.7 I find that we have discussed several of the same subjects, and I think we agree on most points fairly well. I have lately heard several times from Fritz Müller, but he seems now cheifly to be working on plants.8 I often think of your visit to this house, which I enjoyed extremely, and it will ever be to me a real pleasure to remember our acquaintance.9 From what I heard in London, I think you made many friends there,10 Shall you return through England; if so, and you can spare the time, we shall all be delighted to see you here again.
With cordial good wishes for your success in every way, believe | Dear Haeckel | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin
Comments on EH’s "great work" [Generelle Morphologie].
An English translation "hopeless".
Asks about EH’s expedition.
MS of Variation sent to printers.
Fritz Müller working on plants.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5349,” accessed on 1 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5349