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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Paolo Mantegazza1   10 June 1871

Florence

10 Juin 1871—

Illustre Professeur.

Votre grande ouvrage a fait une grande impression, et Lessone nous en donnera une bonne traduction à Turin.2 Je vous envoie une article que j’ai dedié à votre livre et qui a été publié dans le Nuove Antologia, qui est notre meilleure Revue en Italie.—3 Je vous remercie de tout mon coeur de la bonté avec la quelle vous avez parlé de mes voyages et de mes observations sur les moeurs des sauvages.—4 Dans ma Revue qui est destinée aux hommes de lettre je n’ai pas parlé de quelques doutes sur la portée de l’election sexuelle pour produire toutes les differences entre les sexes; mais j’espère pouvoir vous les adresser sous forme de lettre dans notre Archivio d’anthropologie, qui se publie sous ma direction dépuis le commencement du 1871—5

Dans mon cours d’Anthropologie j’ai dedié une leçon à l’election sexuelle qui a vivement interessé le publique.

Dans ma lettre je vous parlerai aussi de la Neogenis complement très modeste de votre sublime théorie et par la quelle j’explique les changements très rapides dans le developpement et dans le transformation des espèces.—6

Conservez votre precieuse santé pour la science, pour vos amis, pour vos admirateurs, entre lesquels se trouve | Votre | Paul Mantegazza | Prof d’anthropologie à Florence et Membre de la Chambre des Députés.

CD note:

Top of letter: ‘I quite pleased with what you say about lecture on [notion] of species.— I grant probability that I have exaggerated about S. S. but familiarity [counts for something]— I am not aware that removing any secondary S. character will lessen power of male.— Mivarts Book is very clever, you will think me prejudiced, when I say that it has not staggered me.—’7 pencil

Bottom of letter: ‘Your Review. | I shall be very glad to see your letter— it is quite probable that I may have exaggerated power of S. S.— Also to read about Neogenis— I have always [presumed] [above del ‘thought’] that new [aspects] in the problem of the modification of species wd have to be discovered.’8 pencil

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix I.
The reference is to Descent; the translation into Italian was done by Michele Lessona (Lessona trans. 1871).
Mantegazza reviewed Descent as well as Mivart 1871a in his regular bimonthly column ‘Revista scientifica’ in the May issue of Nuova Antologia 17 (1871): 177–94; there is a lightly annotated copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
In Descent 2: 338 ff., CD referred to Mantegazza 1867 for information on the ornamentation of native peoples.
CD’s annotated copy of Mantegazza’s review of Descent, which appeared in Archivio per l’Antropologia e la Etnologia (Mantegazza 1871) is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. The review was written in the form of a letter to CD.
For Mantegazza’s theory of ‘neogenesi’ (neogenesis), see Mantegazza 1871, pp. 323–5. Mantegazza argued that neogenesis provided a mechanism to explain the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record (one of St George Jackson Mivart’s objections to natural selection).
This note was evidently made after CD had read Mantegazza 1871 and is probably a reminder for his letter to Mantegazza of 22 September 1871. ‘S. S.’: sexual selection (see letter to Paolo Mantegazza, 22 September 1871 and n. 3).
This note was probably for a letter to Mantegazza that has not been found. In Mantegazza 1871, p. 306, Mantegazza refers to his receiving CD’s encouragement to publish his critique of some aspects of Descent.

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Translation

From Paolo Mantegazza1   10 June 1871

Florence

10 June 1871—

Illustrious Professor.

Your great work has made a great impression, and Lessone is to give us a good translation at Turin.2 I am sending you an article that I have dedicated to your book and that has been published in Nuova Antologia, the best Review in Italy.—3 I thank you with all my heart for the goodness with which you have spoken of my travels and my observations on savage customs.—4 In my Review, which is aimed at men of letters, I did not mention certain doubts concerning the capacity of sexual selection to produce all the differences between the sexes; but I hope to be able to address them in the form of a letter to you in our Archivio d’antropologie, which has been published under my direction since the beginning of 1871—5

In my Anthropology course, I devoted one lecture to sexual selection, which interested the public keenly.

In my letter I shall also write to you of Neogenis, a very modest complement to your sublime theory, by which I explain very rapid changes in the development and transformation of species.—6

Preserve your precious health for science, for your friends, and for your admirers, among whom may be found | Your | Paul Mantegazza | Prof of anthropology at Florence and Member of the Chamber of Deputies.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. QQQQ.
The reference is to Descent; the translation into Italian was done by Michele Lessona (Lessona trans. 1871).
Mantegazza reviewed Descent as well as Mivart 1871a in his regular bimonthly column ‘Revista scientifica’ in the May issue of Nuova Antologia 17 (1871): 177–94; there is a lightly annotated copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
In Descent 2: 338 ff., CD referred to Mantegazza 1867 for information on the ornamentation of native peoples.
CD’s annotated copy of Mantegazza’s review of Descent, which appeared in Archivio per l’Antropologia e la Etnologia (Mantegazza 1871) is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. The review was written in the form of a letter to CD.
For Mantegazza’s theory of ‘neogenesi’ (neogenesis), see Mantegazza 1871, pp. 323–5. Mantegazza argued that neogenesis provided a mechanism to explain the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record (one of St George Jackson Mivart’s objections to natural selection).

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Summary

Michele Lessona will translate Descent into Italian [1871].

Sends his review from Nuova Antologia [17 (1871): 177–94].

In a letter to Archivio per l’Anthropologia he raises some doubts about sexual selection and proposes "Neogenesis" as a complement to natural selection in cases of rapid change.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-7814
From
Paolo Mantegazza
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Florence
Source of text
DAR 171: 37
Physical description
2pp (French) †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7814,” accessed on 17 October 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-7814.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19

letter