To Charles Lyell 22 August 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Lyell
I thank you cordially for your two last letters. The former one did me real good, for I had got so wearied with the subject that I cd hardly bear to correct the proofs, & you gave me fresh heart. I remember thinking that when you came to the pigeon chapter you wd pass it over as quite unreadable.1
Your last letter has interested me in very many ways, & I have been glad to hear about those horrid unbelieving French men.2 I have been particularly pleased that you have noticed Pangenesis. I do not know whether you ever had the feeling of having thought so much over a subject that you had lost all power of judging it. This is my case with Pangen: (which is 26 or 27 years old!) but I am inclined to think that if it be admitted as a probable hypothesis, it will be a somewhat important step in Biology.3
I cannot help still regretting that you have even looked at the slips, for I hope to improve the whole a good deal. It is surprizing to me & delightful that you shd care in the least about the plants. Altogether you have given me one of the best cordials I ever had in my life, & I heartily thank you. I despatched this mg the French edit. The introduction was a complete surprize to me, & I dare say has injured the book in France; nevertheless with all its bad judgment & taste it shews I think that the woman is uncommonly clever.4 Once again many thanks for the renewed courage with which I shall attack the horrid proof sheets.
Our kind love to Lady Lyell—5 | yours affectly | Charles Darwin
You can leave the French Edit. at 6 Queen Anne st, when finished.—6 A Russian who is translating my new Book into Russian, Kowalewsky, has been here, & says you are immensely read in Russia & many editions, how many I forget.— Six Editions of Buckle! & 4 Editions of Origin.7
Thanks CL for comments [on Variation].
Thinks Pangenesis would be important step in biology if admitted as probable.
Introduction to French edition [of Origin] has injured the book.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5612,” accessed on 14 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5612