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Darwin Correspondence Project

To St G. J. Mivart   8 January [1872]

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Jan 8th

Private

My dear Sir

I most fully agree with what you say about pursuing the truth at all costs.1 I will not enter on any details, as I am convinced that nothing which I could say would have any influence on you.— If I had not been personally known to you, I shd. not have been vexed at the spirit which seems to me & to some others to pervade all your articles in relation to me, notwithstanding general expressions to the contrary.— I can say this confidently, as I read the Month long before I knew that you were the author, & considered carefully all the arguments, without caring about the denunciation of atheism &c., as I had been well accustomed to covert sneers of all kinds & to denunciations of all kinds.—2 As it is your several articles have mortified me more than those of any other man, excepting Prof. Owen; & for the same reasons, as I was silly enough to think he felt friendly towards me.—3 I hope that you will now let this correspondence drop, as I want to drive the whole subject out of my mind; & I can protect myself for the future by not reading your controversial writings, only those devoted to ordinary science.— So you can pursue your course, & I can pursue mine for a little longer, without our interfering with each other.

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Footnotes

Mivart had published books and articles critical of CD’s theory of natural selection, including one in the Catholic journal, the Month ([Mivart] 1869). He also published On the genesis of species (Mivart 1871a), and an anonymous review of Descent in Quarterly Review ([Mivart] 1871c), which CD correctly suspected was by him, and a riposte to Thomas Henry Huxley in Contemporary Review (Mivart 1872a).
CD had enjoyed apparently cordial relations with Richard Owen, who described fossil mammal specimens from the Beagle voyage, until Owen published a hostile review of Origin in the Edinburgh Review ([Owen] 1860; see Correspondence vol. 8 and ODNB s.v. Owen, Sir Richard).

Summary

Wishes their correspondence regarding their differences to be dropped, as CD feels that nothing he could say would have any influence on StGJM.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-8149
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
St George Jackson Mivart
Sent from
Down
Source of text
Natural History Museum (Kohler)
Physical description
4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8149,” accessed on 20 November 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8149

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20

letter