RECORD: Jevons, William Stanley. 1882.04.28. Letter to [George Howard] Darwin. CUL-DAR215.10m. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. Corrections by Anne Secord 4.2022. RN2

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin. Jevons published two articles Nature discussing Darwin's theories.

1869. A deduction from Darwin's Ttheory, Nature (30 Dec.): 231-232. CUL-DAR80.B185

1873. Maupertius on the survival of the fittest, Nature, (6 Mar.): 341. CUL-DAR69.A29

A few letters he sent George Darwin were published in his autobiography: Letters & Journal of W. Stanley Jevons, 1886. Edited by his wife. London: Macmillan and Co.



28 April 1882

Dear Mr Darwin

You will allow me to express in a few words the great pain with which I saw in the Times the announcement of your fathers death. It came as a very sudden surprise and it seemed impossible to realise that the country and the world


had received so great a loss. You will have received so many assurances of regret that it seemed superfluous for me to say anything & yet I cannot make up my mind to remain entirely silent under the greatest loss which science has sustained in the present century. We have to go a long way back into


history to find a revolution of ideas comparable to that which Mr Darwin effected.

It is not long since I was reading the book on Earthworms and wondering at the magic which had thrown such a light upon an apparently mean & commonplace topic.

It is hardly possible to suppose that Mr Darwin after completing


so many works of the highest elaboration could have left more in a state for printing, but I shall look with much interest for statements as to what we may expect.

I hope that your own health is now becoming stronger. I read with much interest the account of experiments which you had been making


and was rather surprised to learn what a shaky old crust we have to live upon.

We have been spending some weeks here at our usual seaside place, chiefly for the benefit of my own health which needs rest & recruitment.

I am glad to say that I feel much better for the sea breeze, but I


have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to combine steady work upon the highly difficult topics which I attempt to study with anything in the nature of active life.

I am

yours very faithfully

W. S. Jevons.

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