The Dialogue Itself, Which Was Unearthed
From The Early Files Of The PRESS, Mainly Owing To The Exertions Of
Mr. Henry Festing Jones, Was Reprinted, Together With The
Correspondence That Followed Its Publication, In The PRESS Of June 8
And 15, 1912.
Soon after the original appearance of Butler's
dialogue a copy of it fell into the hands of Charles Darwin, possibly
sent to him by a friend in New Zealand.
Darwin was sufficiently
struck by it to forward it to the editor of some magazine, which has
not been identified, with the following letter:-
Down, Bromley, Kent, S.E.
March 24 .
Mr. Darwin takes the liberty to send by this post to the Editor a New
Zealand newspaper for the very improbable chance of the Editor having
some spare space to reprint a Dialogue on Species. This Dialogue,
written by some [sic] quite unknown to Mr. Darwin, is remarkable from
its spirit and from giving so clear and accurate a view of Mr. D.
[sic] theory. It is also remarkable from being published in a colony
exactly 12 years old, in which it might have [sic] thought only
material interests would have been regarded.
The autograph of this letter was purchased from Mr. Tregaskis by Mr.
Festing Jones, and subsequently presented by him to the Museum at
Christ Church. The letter cannot be dated with certainty, but since
Butler's dialogue was published in December, 1862, and it is at least
probable that the copy of the PRESS which contained it was sent to
Darwin shortly after it appeared, we may conclude with tolerable
certainty that the letter was written in March, 1863.
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