To Edwin Ray Lankester 15 March 1
Down Beckenham Kent
My dear Sir
I do not know whether you will consider me a very troublesome man, but I have just finished your book & cannot resist telling you how the whole has much interested me.—2 No doubt, as you say, there must be much speculation on such a subject, & certain results cannot be reached; but all your views are highly suggestive, & to my mind that is high praise. I have been all the more interested as I am now writing on closely allied though not quite identical points. I was pleased to see you refer to my much despised child, Pangenesis who, I think, will some day under some better nurse turn out a fine stripling.—3
It has also much pleased me to see how thoroughly you appreciate (& I do not think that this is general with the men of science) H. Spencer:4 I suspect that hereafter he will be looked at as by far the greatest living philosopher in England, perhaps equal to any that have lived.— But I have no business to trouble you with my notions.— With sincere thanks for the interest which your work has given me, I remain, | yours very faithfully, | Ch. Darwin
CD much interested by ERL’s book [On comparative longevity (1870)]. Is pleased to find ERL refers to CD’s "despised child" Pangenesis, and is also pleased how thoroughly ERL appreciates Herbert Spencer, a philosopher perhaps equal to any that has lived.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7135,” accessed on 24 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7135