RECORD: Litchfield, Henrietta. nd. [On plagiarism and scientific jealousy]. CUL-DAR262.23.3 (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed from the manuscript by Kees Rookmaaker 12.2005; checked against the manuscript by John van Wyhe and Janet Browne 3.2006. RN1

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Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.


Feb 1871 Just before publication of Man, my Father told me "I have just heard that a German book has come out apparently the very same as mine, "Sittlichkeit & Darwinismus"; whereupon I said "Well, at any rate nobody can say you've plagiarized." "Yes, that is the only bother, that is very disagreeable Otherwise I never have cared abt the paltry feeling of priority & it doesn't signify a bit its coming out first It is sure to be not exactly the same." It is a good thing it is coming out when two men hit upon the same idea it is more likely to be true."

I then made him repeat what he had told me before, namely his first introduction to the jealousy of scientific men. When he was at Edinburgh he found out that the spermatozoa (?) [ova] of Flustra (things that grow on seaweed) move. He rushed instantly to Grant afterwards Professor at University Coll who was working on the subject to tell him, thinking he wd be delighted with so curious a fact. But was confounded on being told that it was very unfair of him to work at Prof G's subject & in fact that he shd take it ill if my Father published it. This made a deep impression on my Father & he has always expressed the strongest contempt for all such little feelings - so unworthy of searchers after truth.

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

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