To Richard Owen [April? 1848]1
Down, Farnborough, Kent.
My dear Owen,—
… I am much pleased at your praise of my Coral volume, and am very glad you recommend it to the notice of voyagers.2 It would undoubtedly be far more suggestive to any one who will really attend to the subject, but for the generality, perhaps, the abstract in my journal would be the most [useful]… .3 I have lately read with very great interest all the parts which I could follow in your Report on Archetypes, &c.4 You may remember that I suggested explanations to the woodcuts. I am not a quarter satisfied yet. You may with perfect justice say you do not write for tyros; but if ever you take compassion (and there is no other claim) on ignoramuses such as myself, you will in every woodcut give the name to every letter or number in your woodcuts, even if repeated 500 times, for just that many times will it make your work intelligible to the ignorant.
Believe me, | Yours very sincerely, | C.DARWIN.
Pleased at RO’s praise of Coral reefs.
Has read with very great interest RO’s "Report on the archetype" [Rep. BAAS 16 (1846): 169–340]. RO should give name to every letter or number in his woodcuts.