To J. D. Hooker 23 February 
My dear Hooker
I have had almost as many letters to write of late, as you can have—viz from 8–10 per diem,—chiefly getting up facts on sexual selection; therefore I have felt no inclination to write to you, & now I mean to write solely about my Book, for my own satisfaction, & not at all for yours.— The first Edit was 1500 copies, & now the second is printed off,—sharp work.1 Did you look at the Review in the Athenæum, showing profound contempt of me. I feel convinced it is by Owen—2 Pouchet— Mr. Charles Darwin, always in full & other little strokes. It is a shame that he shd have said that I have taken much from Pouchet without acknowledgement; for I took literally nothing, there being nothing to take.3 There is capital R. in Gardeners Chronicle—which will sell the book, if anything will—4 I do not quite see whether I or the writer is in a muddle about man causing variability.5 If a man drops a bit of iron into Sulphuric acid he does not cause the affinities to come into play, yet he may be said to make Sulphate of Iron. I do not know how to avoid ambiguity. After what Pall Mall6 & G. Chronicle have said, I do not care a d—. for Owen.—
I fear Pangenesis is still-born. Bates says he has read it twice & is not sure that he understands it.—7 H. Spencer says the view is quite different from his (& this a great relief to me, as I feared to be accused of plagiarism, but utterly failed to be sure what he meant, so thought it safest to give my view as almost same as his) & he says he is not sure he understands it.8 Sir J. Lubbock says he shall wait, before he expresses his opinion, & see what the Reviews say.9 Am I not a poor Devil; yet I took such pains, I must think that I expressed myself clearly Old Sir H. Holland says he has read it twice & thinks it very tough, but believes that sooner or later “some view akin to it” will be accepted.10
You will think me very self-sufficient, when I declare that I feel sure if Pangenesis is now still born it will thank God at some future time reappear, begotten by some other Father, & christened by some other name.—
Have you ever met with any tangible & clear view of what takes place in generation, whether by seeds or buds.— Or how a long-lost character can possibly reappear—or how the male element can possibly affect the mother-plant—or the mother animal so that her future progeny are affected. Now all these points & many others are connected to-gether,—whether truly or falsely is another question—by Pangenesis.— You see I die hard, & stick up for my poor child.—
This letter is written for my own satisfaction & not for yours—so bear it.
Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin
Review in Athenæum full of contempt. Is sure Owen wrote it [see 5931].
Gardeners’ Chronicle review [(1868): 184] favourable.
Fears Pangenesis is still-born. Cites Bates, Spencer, Lubbock, and Sir Henry Holland. Is sure Pangenesis will sometime reappear. Questions that are connected and answered by Pangenesis.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5918,” accessed on 25 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5918