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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   11 November 1859

Down Bromley Kent [Ilkley]

Nov. 11. 1859

My dear Henslow

I have told Murray to send a copy of my Book on species to you, my dear old master in natural history. I fear, however, that you will not approve of your pupil in this case. The book in its present state does not show the amount of labour which I have bestowed on the subject—

If you have time to read it carefully & would take the trouble to point out what parts seem weakest to you & what best, it wd. be a most material aid to me in writing my bigger book, which I hope to commence in a few months— You know also how highly I value your judgement— But I am not so unreasonable as to wish or expect you to write detailed & lengthy criticisms, but merely a few general remarks pointing out weakest parts—

If you are in ever so slight a degree staggered (which I hardly expect) on the immutability of species, then I am convinced with further reflexion you will become more & more staggered, for this has been the process through which my mind has gone.—

My dear Henslow | Yours affecly & | gratefully | C. Darwin


Sends the Origin to his "dear old master in natural history"; fears he will not approve of his pupil in this case. Asks for criticisms. If JSH is even in slight degree staggered on the immutability of species, CD is convinced that he will be more staggered on further reflection – this has been the process of his own mind.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Ilkley Down letterhead
Source of text
DAR 145: 100
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2522,” accessed on 19 September 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7