RECORD: Anon. 1877. [Review of Self-fertilisation]. Cross and self-fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. The Chronicle (University of Michigan), vol. 8 (17 March): 176.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 7.2021. RN1

[page] 176


Mr. Darwin's book needs no introduction. His wonderful power of observation, his fertile and ingenious methods of experiment, and his inexhaustible patience are so universally known as to insure a favorable reception for any work from his hands. The observations of the author upon the subject of self-fertilization have extended over a period of thirty-seven years and are quite conclusive. His experiments prove the greater constitutional vigor of crossed plants, their increased longevity and fertility. The most important conclusion at which the author arrives is that the good depends, not upon the mere act of crossing by itself, but upon the fact that the crossed individuals differed slightly in constitution. This conclusion "is closely connected with various important physiological problems, such as the benefits derived from slight changes in the conditions of life, and thus stands in the closest connection with life itself. It throws light on the origin of the two sexes and on their separation or union in the same individual and lastly on the whole subject of hybridism, which is one of the greatest obstacles to the general acceptance and progress of the great principle of evolution."  Mr. Darwin has deemed the results of his experiments of sufficient value to justify the details. The peculiar style of Darwin renders the work interesting to even the most unscientific student.

For sale by Sheehan & Co.

This document has been accessed 215 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 25 September, 2022