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I have sent the M.S. of my book on “Domestic Animals &c” to the printers; it turned out to be much too large; it will not be published I suppose until next November.7 I find that we have discussed several of the same subjects, and I think we agree on most points fairly well.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 21 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5349