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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Francis Darwin   6 June [1871]1

Down

June 6th

My dear old Backy

Very many thanks for all that you have done for me.— What on earth Mivart can mean by the identity between eyes of Cephelopods & Vertebrata I cannot conceive: they must be transparent & furnished with nerves, & with a lens of some kind.2 The striking resemblance seems to be only external, as I believe is always the case when analogous or homoplastic structures are understood.

I do not want anything more from British Review.—3

I have had such an extraordinary kind letter and little Essay from Michael Foster:4 he offers to come down here to talk to me, & I have consequently begged him to come for a Sunday if so inclined, & you must come, if you possibly can, & meet him.— Is he a nice man? I hope so, for he seems inclined to like me.—

Good-bye my dear old Doctor Darwin5 | C. D.

P.S. | You have omitted one important, reference to Vol. & series & Page to Hensen’s paper in Annales des Sci Nat. as I might wish hereafter to look at it—6

Footnotes

The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Francis Darwin, 21 May [1871].
CD had asked Francis to assist him in finding material on the eyes of cephalopods (octopuses and squids) so he could respond to St George Jackson Mivart’s claims in Mivart 1871a (see letter to Francis Darwin, 21 May [1871] and n. 4).
CD may refer to the North British Review.
See letter from Michael Foster, 4 June [1871].
Francis was studying medicine at St George’s Hospital, London (ODNB).
CD refers to the summary in French of Victor Hensen’s paper on the structure of the cephalopod eye (Hensen 1865). See letter to Francis Darwin, 21 May [1871] and n. 10.

Summary

Thanks for FD’s help. CD cannot conceive what Mivart means by "the identity between eyes of Cephalopods and Vertebrata".

Has invited Michael Foster to Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-7806
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Darwin, Francis
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 271.3 (Ursula Mommens deposit)
Physical description
4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7806,” accessed on 6 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7806

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