To G. H. Darwin [27 July 1874]1
Abinger Hall | Wotton Surrey (Post Town) | Gomshall (Station) S.E.R.
My dear G.
I have been thinking during my whole walk on the scurrilous libel on you.2 It is has occurred to me (& Erasmus & Hensleigh3 agree at first blush) that it wd be a good plan to lay the case before an eminent Counsel, not necessarily for Prosecution of the author, but that he shd. compare the Review with your Article, which he wd. naturally do & express an opinion how far Reviewer is justified. But I do not know whether Counsel will allow this opinion to be published. If so, & the opinion was clear that the Reviewer has falsified your statements, then to send it to the Quarterly Rw. & demand its publication; which I suppose wd. be refused. In this case publish it elsewhere & even as an advertisement. It will then be for me to consider whether I must not cut Murray & a nice perplexity I shd be in about my rights on the stereotyped editions.—4
Think well over this. What I fear is that by selecting separate sentences, the Reviewer will perhaps be able to justify his essentially false statements.
Yours affect | C. Darwin
Advises GHD to get an eminent counsel. If counsel’s opinion is that the reviewer [Mivart, in "Primitive man", Q. Rev. 137 (1874): 40–77] has falsified GHD’s statements, GHD should send the opinion to the Quarterly Review and demand publication, and if refused publish elsewhere. Then CD must decide whether to cut John Murray [publisher of Q. Rev.] which will put CD in a nice perplexity [over his rights to the stereotyped editions of past works].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9568,” accessed on 25 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-9568