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To Adam Sedgwick   24 August [1859]


Sorry to hear of AS’s poor health.

Would like to attend Aberdeen meeting [BAAS, 1859] but is unfit for so great an exertion. Has been told he has "suppressed gout".

Pleased that AS remembers their 1831 geological trip, which made CD appreciate the noble science of geology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Adam Sedgwick
Date:  24 Aug [1859]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2482

To Adam Sedgwick   11 November [1859]


Has told Murray to send AS a copy of Origin. CD’s conclusion is diametrically opposed to that which AS has often advocated, but he assures AS he does not send his book out of a spirit of bravado.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Adam Sedgwick
Date:  11 Nov [1859]
Classmark:  Sotheby’s, New York (dealers) (13 December 2018, lot 235)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2525

From Adam Sedgwick   24 November 1859



Thanks CD for the Origin; AS has read the book "with more pain than pleasure". CD has deserted "the true method of induction" and many of his wide conclusions are "based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved". His "grand principle – natural selection" is "but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts".

Author:  Adam Sedgwick
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Nov 1859
Classmark:  DAR 98: B17–18
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2548

To Adam Sedgwick   26 November [1859]


CD expected AS’s "strong disapprobation" of his book [Origin] but is grieved "to have shocked a man whom I sincerely honour". Has worked "like a slave" on the subject for over 20 years and is not conscious that bad motives have influenced the conclusions at which he has arrived. CD does not think the book will be mischievous and "if I be wrong I shall soon be annihilated". CD may have written too confidently from feeling confident that no "false theory would explain so many classes of facts".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Adam Sedgwick
Date:  26 Nov [1859]
Classmark:  The British Library (Egerton MS 3020: 1–3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2555
Document type
letter (4)