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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Willett   19 April [1874]1

Down | Beckenham. Kent.

Ap 19th.

My dear Sir

Mr. Balfour is in Naples & I do not know his address,2 so that the circular does not signify. I was very glad to see that your great undertaking was progressing favourably.3 You must be reading one of the first Editions of the Origin, for I altered & omitted long ago that part about the rate of the sea eating back the land, in which I blundered most egregiously4

My dear Sir | Yrs. very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

Footnotes

The year is established by the reference to Francis Maitland Balfour’s stay in Naples (see n. 2, below).
Balfour was in Naples in April 1874; he had been doing research at the Zoological Station there since late 1873 (see letter from Michael Foster, 7 April [1874] and n. 2).
No letter from Willett has been found; the circular may have involved the Wealden Exploration Fund, which Willett had established to support geological excavations of the Sussex Downs ([Willett] 1878).
CD refers to his revised discussion of the denudation of the Weald (see Origin 2d ed., p. 285, and Origin 3d ed., p. xii), which had important consequences for his estimates of geological time.

Bibliography

Origin 2d ed.: 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. 1860.

Origin 3d ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 3d edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1861.

[Willett, Henry.] 1878. The record of the sub-Wealden exploration. Brighton: W. J. Smith.

Summary

F. M. Balfour is in Naples. Comments on rate at which sea eats back the land, as given in early editions of Origin.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-9420
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Henry Willett
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 148: 359
Physical description
1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9420,” accessed on 20 January 2020, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-9420.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22

letter