Discusses his previous criticisms of EH's Generelle Morphologie. Fears it will make enemies.
Discusses reception of descent theory in England.
Mentions EH's trip to Canary Islands.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E. May 21 Dear Häckel
Your letter of the 18
All that I think is that you will excite anger & that anger so
completely blinds every one that your arguments w
The belief in the descent theory is slowly spreading in England, even amongst
those who can give no reason for their belief. No body of men were at first
so much opposed to my views as the members of the London entomolog. Soc; but
now I am assured that with the exception of 2 or 3 old men all the members
concur with me to a certain extent. It has been a great
disappointment to me that I have never rec
Victor Carus is going to translate it, but whether it is worth translation I am rather doubtful
I am very glad to hear that there is some chance of your visiting England this autumn & all in this house will be delighted to see you here.
Believe me my dear Häckel | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin
- f1 5544.f1The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Haeckel, 12 May 1867.
- f2 5544.f2See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 12 May 1867. CD was mistaken about the date. CD had commented on Haeckel's Generelle Morphologie (Haeckel 1866) in his letter to Haeckel of 12 April .
- f3 5544.f3CD was himself a founder member of the Entomological Society of London. He had written before about the supposed hostility of entomologists to his views: see, for example, Correspondence vol. 8, letter to H. W. Bates, 22 November , and Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Charles Lyell, 17 March . On the attitude of members of the society to CD's views, see Poulton 1901. A member of the society who consistently opposed CD's theory of descent was John Obadiah Westwood (see Neave et al. 1933, p. 131).
- f4 5544.f4See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 12 May 1867.
- f5 5544.f5CD refers to Variation. Haeckel had visited CD at Down House in October 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14).
- f6 5544.f6The German translation of Variation was by Julius Victor Carus (Carus trans. 1868)