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.