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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Haeckel   25 November 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Nov: 25/75

My dear Häckel

I have now read yr History of Creation, and am not surprised at its great success.1 I have been much struck with many of your brilliant & original remarks; but from having read several parts in the original German Edition, there was not much quite new to me.2 You will perhaps be surprised to hear, that the part which I liked best is your history in the earlier chapters. The way in which you speak of my books gratifies me deeply; but it is indeed much too strong, and I fear that critics will attack you for what you have said.3

The amount of knowledge which you possess, as shown from the beginning to the end of your Book, & the number of your original investigations, is really wonderful.

Believe me my dear Häckel | Yours gratefully | Charles Darwin

PS. I have read a great deal of yr Essay on the developement of ova & though much too ignorant to form any judgement, I can see how important the essay is, & I hope that you are right, for if so you will have removed some great difficulties.4

Do not forget to send me yr paper on the Coral from the Red Sea.5


CD’s annotated copy of Haeckel 1876a is in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 357).
CD had read the first German edition of Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (Haeckel 1868; see Marginalia 1: 358–60).
Origin and other works by CD were referred to extensively in Haeckel 1876a; see especially 1: 130–7.
Haeckel 1875b. See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 7 November 1875 and nn. 3 and 4.
Haeckel’s ‘paper’ was his Arabische Korallen (Arabian corals; Haeckel 1876b). See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 7 November 1875 and n. 5.


Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

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 read EH’s History of creation [trans. E. R. Lankester (1875)]. Was much struck with many "brilliant & original remarks". Is gratified by the way EH speaks of CD’s books.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Sent from
Source of text
Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A-Abt. 1:1-52/35 [9888])
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10276,” accessed on 4 June 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23