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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-7448

To J. D. Hooker   21 January [1871]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Jan 21

My dear Hooker

If you can do come here & give us all pleasure, on Saturday 28th for the Sunday.— Winwood Reade (whom I have never seen, & who has aided me) & I hope Günther & Swinhoe are coming.—2 Will you bring, Willy3 with you, though we can give him only a dressing room.— I hope you may be able to come.— Come by train which leaves Charing Cross at 5o. 5’ & reaches Orpington at 5o. 47’, where our carriage will be.—

I finished the last proofs of my book a few days ago:4 the work half killed me & I have not the most remote idea whether the book is worth publishing,—though it seems that it will sell very well.— I shall be well abused, for as my son Frank5 says “you treat man in such a bare-faced manner.”—

All work tires me to death & idleness is twice as bad as work, so I am in a nice fix for the rest of my life. Softening of the brain wd. not be a bad ending.—

Farewell | Your affect | C. Darwin

Mivart has published what seems (I have read only a few pages) a very good book against me, accumulating all possible & some impossible objections.6 It is, however, unfortunately theological. I daresay it will tell heavily against natural selection, but not against evolution, & this is infinitely more important.—

Footnotes

1
The year is established by the reference to the completion of Descent (see n. 4, below).
2
Hooker, Albert Günther, William Winwood Reade, and Robert Swinhoe came to Down on 28 January and left on 30 January 1871 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). CD had corresponded with Reade while Reade was in West Africa (see Correspondence vols. 16 and 17).
3
William Henslow Hooker.
4
According to his ‘Journal’ (Appendix II), CD finished correcting proofs of Descent on 15 January 1871.
5
Francis Darwin.
6
CD refers to St George Jackson Mivart and Mivart 1871a; see letter from St G. J. Mivart, 19 January 1871 and n. 1.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-7448
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Hooker, J. D.
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 94: 186–7
Physical description
4pp

Summary

Finished the last proofs of Descent a few days ago. "I shall be well abused."

St George Mivart’s Genesis [of species]: very good, unfortunately theological. Will tell heavily against natural selection but not against evolution, and this is "infinitely more important".

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7448,” accessed on 6 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7448

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