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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Fiske   3 November [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Nov. 3d

My dear Sir

I am very much obliged for your magnificent present of your Cosmical Philosophy, received this morning.2 On turning over the pages, I see that there is a good deal beyond my scope; not but what I shall attempt to grapple with the stiffest parts; but there are other subjects which I feel sure will deeply interest me. Good Heavens what labour the book must have cost you.— I sincerely hope that it may be in every way successful, & with my cordial thanks

I remain, my dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the date of publication of Fiske’s book (see n. 2, below).
Fiske’s Outlines of cosmic philosophy based on the doctrine of evolution (Fiske 1874) is in the Darwin Library–Down. CD and Fiske had met at Henrietta Emma Litchfield’s house in November 1873, when Fiske was in London for three months finishing his book (see Correspondence vol. 21, letter from John Fiske, 31 October 1873, and Appendix II).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Fiske, John. 1874. Outlines of cosmic philosophy: based on the doctrine of evolution, with criticisms on the positive philosophy. 2 vols. London: Macmillan and Co.


Thanks JF for copy of Cosmic philosophy [1874].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Fiske
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (FK 1110-1112)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9706,” accessed on 3 August 2020,

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