skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-9757

To J. D. Hooker   14 December 1874

Down, Beckenham, Kent

Dec 14 1874

My dear Hooker

It is most generous of you & Huxley to think of taking up, for my sake, & more especially on the grounds of justice, the false & shameful attack on George.1 I think, however, that this is too disagreeable a job for any one to undertake without a strong personal motive. I can assure you that the possibility of such a thing never occurred to me; but I am deeply gratified by your sympathy. I have been wishing for some time that Mr Mivart wd give me an opportunity of coming to an understanding with him; & why it did not occur to me to write direct to him I cannot imagine. Do you not think it wd be a good plan for me to send him the enclosed note? If Huxley & you, on further deliberation are inclined to take any step in the matter, you can forward this letter & enclosure to Huxley. I expect that Mr. M. will refuse to answer; & in this case I should repeat that I was convinced that he was the author, & that it was as false, malicious & base an article as ever was written. You & Huxley, whether or not you do any thing, ought to read (& this wd take you only a few minutes) George’s article on Marriage in the Contemp. for Aug. 73 & the passages about him in the Q. Rev. for July 74, so as to judge whether I am right in saying that there are no grounds for the direct accusation & the hideous innuendo which follows.

You ought also to read George’s short statement in the Oct. Number of the Q. & the Reviewer’s rejoinder.2 Those who have read the article in the Q. & the rejoinder agree with me in thinking that the accusation was most direct, the excuse mere equivocation. If you & Huxley think I had better send the enclosed note to Mr M. I will do so at once, as I shd be very glad to know on what terms to stand with him. I should have said that my reasons for believing that the Article was written by him are slight peculiarities in subject & style, & 5 unusual expressions or remarks which he has lately employed in his acknowledged writing

My dear Hooker | yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin

[Enclosure]

To St George Mivart Esq | not sent

Dear Sir

I have good reason to believe that you are the author of an article on Tylor & Lubbock in the July number of the Quarterly Rev. for 1874, which includes an attack upon my son Mr G. Darwin. As I desire to know on what terms we are to stand in the future, I request you to be so good as to inform me whether you are the author of any part of that article. I shall use your answer in communicating with other persons including Mr Murray on the subject.

Dear Sir | yours faithfully

Footnotes

1
St George Jackson Mivart had attacked an article by George Howard Darwin (‘On beneficial restrictions to liberty of marriage’; G. H. Darwin 1873b) in an anonymous essay review of works by John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor in the Quarterly Review ([Mivart] 1874b, p. 70). CD had recently told Thomas Henry Huxley of the incident (see letter to G. H. Darwin, [6 December 1874]). For Huxley’s letters to Hooker on the subject and Hooker’s reply, see Gruber 1960, pp. 103–5.
2
George’s statement, discussed at length with CD in letters in August 1874, appeared in the October issue of Quarterly Review (137 (1874): 587–8), followed by an anonymous rejoinder by Mivart. See also Appendix V.

Summary

Thanks JDH for his and Huxley’s countering of the false attack on George [Darwin] by Mivart. Encloses a note to Mivart on which he asks JDH’s opinion.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-9757
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Hooker, J. D.
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 95: 350–1, DAR 97: C73
Physical description
3pp † & Adraft 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9757,” accessed on 30 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-9757

letter