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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hugh Falconer   11 November [1859]

Down, [Ilkley]

November 11th

My dear Falconer,—

I have told Murray to send you a copy of my book on the ‘Origin of Species,’ which as yet is only an abstract.

If you read it, you must read it straight through, otherwise from its extremely condensed state it will be unintelligible.

Lord, how savage you will be, if you read it, and how you will long to crucify me alive!1 I fear it will produce no other effect on you; but if it should stagger you in ever so slight a degree, in this case, I am fully convinced that you will become, year after year, less fixed in your belief in the immutability of species. With this audacious and presumptuous conviction,

I remain, my dear Falconer, | Yours most truly, | Charles Darwin.


For Falconer’s response to Origin, see letter to Hugh Falconer, 17 December [1859].


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Has told Murray to send Origin to HF. "Lord, how savage you will be, if you read it, and how you will long to crucify me alive."

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hugh Falconer
Sent from
Source of text
Life and Letters 2: 216–17

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2524,” accessed on 8 December 2023,

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