To Chauncey Wright 6 April 1872
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
Ap. 6 1872
My dear Sir
I have read your paper with great interest, both the philosophical & special parts. I have not been able to understand all the mathematical reasoning; for irrational angles produce a corresponding effect on my mind. Nevertheless I have been able to follow the general argument, & I am delighted to have a cloud of darkness largely removed. It is a great thing to be able to assign reasons why certain angles do not occur, or occur rarely.1 I have felt the difficulty of the case for some dozen years, ever since Falconer threw it in my teeth.2 Your memoir must have been a laborious undertaking, & I congratulate you on its completion.
The illustration taken from leaves of genetic & adaptive characters seems to me excellent,3 as indeed are many points in your paper.
You sent me 3 copies; & after reflection I have sent one to “Nature”, as one of the editors is a botanist & may notice it;4 the second, I have sent to the Linnean Soc. as most botanists belong to it. I will lend my own to Mr Airy (the son of the Astronomer Royal) who has attended to phyllotaxy & who expressed a wish to read yr paper.5
I sent you some time ago a copy of my new edit. of the Origin which I hope you have received, but pray do not trouble yourself to acknowledge it.6
Believe me, my dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin
P.S. I have heard that Mr Mivart will answer, I suppose savagely, your pamphlet in the Popular Science Review, the April number, which ought now to be published.7 Do you ever see Fraser’s Magazine, there is a striking article on Divinity & Darwinism, by I suppose by L. Stevens, who married one of the Miss Thackerays.—8
Delighted to have cloud of darkness removed by CW’s paper on phyllotaxy [Mem. Am. Acad. Arts & Sci. n.s. 9 (1867–73): 379–415].
Has heard that Mivart will answer CW’s pamphlet [Darwinism (1871)].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8277,” accessed on 23 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8277