To A. R. Wallace 9 July 1
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Wallace
I send by this post a Review by Chauncey Wright, as I much want your opinion of it, as soon as you can send it.2 I consider you an incomparably better critic than I am. The article, though not very clearly written & poor in parts from want of knowledge, seems to me admirable.
Mivart’s book is producing a great effect against Natural Selection, & more especially against me. Therefore if you think the article even somewhat good, I will write & get permission to publish it as a shilling pamphlet, together with the M.S. additions (enclosed) for which there was not room at the end of the the Review.—3 I do not suppose I shd lose more than £20 or £30.—
I am now at work at a new & cheap Edit. of Origin & shall answer several points in Mivart’s book & introduce a new Chapter for this purpose;4 but I treat the subject so much more concretely, & I daresay less philosophically, than Wright, that we shall not interfere with each other.— You will think me a bigot, when I say after studying Mivart, I was never before in my life so convinced of general (i.e. not in detail) truth of views in the Origin. I grieve to see the omission of the words by Mivart, detected by Wright.—5 I complained to M. that in two cases he quotes only the commencement of sentences by me & thus modifies my meaning; but I never supposed he wd. have omitted words.6 There are other cases of what I consider unfair treatment. I conclude with sorrow that though he means to be honourable, he is so bigoted that he cannot act fairly. I was glad to see your letter in Nature, though I think you were a little hard on the silly & presumptuous man.—7
I hope that your house & grounds are progressing well, & that you are in all ways flourishing.—8
I have been rather seedy, but a few days in London did me much good; & my dear good wife is going to take me somewhere, nolens, volens, at the end of this month.9
Ever yours | C. Darwin
Requests advice about Chauncey Wright’s article on Mivart’s Genesis of species [North Am. Rev. 113 (1871): 64–103]. CD thinks of publishing it as a pamphlet to counter impact of Mivart’s criticism of natural selection.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7855,” accessed on 24 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7855