Letter to Charles Darwin
 June 21, 1871

Chauncey Wright

Of the article on "The Genesis of Species," Chauncey sent proof-sheets to Mr. Darwin ; and in a letter to him, dated June 21, 1871, he wrote:

" I send, in the same mail with this, revised proofs of an article which will be published in the July number of the `North American Review,' sending it in the hope that it will interest or even be of greater value to you. Mr. Mivart's book, of which this article is substantially a review, seems to me a very good background from which to present the considerations which I have endeavored to set forth in the article, in defence and illustration of the theory of Natural Selection. My special purpose has been to contribute to the theory by placing it in its proper relations to philosophical inquiries in general."

This was the beginning of a correspondence with Mr. Darwin which continued up to the last year of Chauncey's life, and gave him much pleasure. Mr. Darwin replied to this letter, on July 14, with great cordiality, and asked leave to reprint the article in the form of a pamphlet. " I have hardly ever in my life," he writes, " received an article which has given me so much satisfaction as the review which you have been so kind as to send me. I agree to almost every thing which you say. Your memory must be wonderfully accurate, for you know my works as well as I do myself, and your power of grasping other men's thoughts is something quite surprising ; and this, as far as my experience goes, is a very rare quality. As I read on, I perceived how you have acquired

( 231) this power ; namely, by thoroughly analyzing each word. . . Now I am going to beg a favor. Will you provisionally give me permission to reprint your article as a pamphlet ? I ask it only provisionally, as I have not yet had time to reflect on the subject."

On July 17, Mr. Darwin again wrote: "I have been looking over your review again ; and it seems to me and others so excellent that, if I receive your permission, with a title, I will republish it, notwithstanding that I am afraid pamphlets on literary or scientific subjects never will sell in England."


No notes

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