To T. H. Farrer 29 October 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Mr Farrer
I had seen your paper in the Annals & was proud of my share in getting you to publish it, but I am obliged for the copy which you have sent me.2 I know pretty well the structure of the common Violet, but have never seen V. cornuta, so do not understand what part is degraded in the common species.—3 You might work this up into another paper, & let it be accompanied by a wood cut.
My vanity was much pleased at the very elegant German compliment which you paid me in your introductory remarks.4 By the way, as we are in the same boat, I may mention that Prof. Asa Gray (a first-rate Botanist) who used formerly often to throw difficulties about crossing in my way, now spontaneously declares, he hardly ever looks at a flower without feeling convinced that its whole structure is adapted for a cross with another individual.5
Pangenesis has very few friends, so let me beg you not to give it up lightly.6 It may be foolish parental affection, but it has thrown a flood of light on my mind in regard a great series of complex phenomena.—
Pray believe me | Dear Farrer | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
I am delighted that you have joined Linn. Socy.—7
Suggests THF write a paper on violets. Asa Gray, once a sceptic, now declares he is convinced whole structure of a flower is adapted for a cross with another individual.
Urges THF not to give up Pangenesis lightly. "It has thrown light on my mind in regard [to] a great series of complex phenomena."
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6435,” accessed on 25 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6435