More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2

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Author: Charles Darwin

Letter 459. To George Fraser.

(459/1. The following letter refers to two letters to Mr. Darwin, in which Mr. Fraser pointed out that illustrations of the theory of Sexual Selection might be found amongst British butterflies and moths. Mr. Fraser, in explanation of the letters, writes: "As an altogether unknown and far from experienced naturalist, I feared to send my letters for publication without, in the first place, obtaining Mr. Darwin’s approval." The information was published in "Nature," Volume III., April 20th, 1871, page 489. The article was referred to in the second edition of the "Descent of Man" (1874), pages 312, 316, 319. Mr. Fraser adds: "This is only another illustration of Mr. Darwin’s great conscientiousness in acknowledging suggestions received by him from the most humble sources." (Letter from Mr. Fraser to F. Darwin, March 21, 1888.)

Down, April 14th [1871].

I am very much obliged for your letter and the interesting facts which it contains, and which are new to me. But I am at present so much engaged with other subjects that I cannot fully consider them; and, even if I had time, I do not suppose that I should have anything to say worth printing in a scientific journal. It would obviously be absurd in me to allow a mere note of thanks from me to be printed. Whenever I have to bring out a corrected edition of my book I will well consider your remarks (which I hope that you will send to "Nature"), but the difficulty will be that my friends tell me that I have already introduced too many facts, and that I ought to prune rather than to introduce more.

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Chicago: Charles Darwin, "Letter 459. To George Fraser.," More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, ed. Darwin, Francis, Sir, 1848-1925 and Seward, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1863-1941 and trans. Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866 in More Letters of Charles Darwin Original Sources, accessed January 21, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PWZQFM5QCFFZMUD.

MLA: Darwin, Charles. "Letter 459. To George Fraser." More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, edited by Darwin, Francis, Sir, 1848-1925 and Seward, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1863-1941, and translated by Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866, in More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, Original Sources. 21 Jan. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PWZQFM5QCFFZMUD.

Harvard: Darwin, C, 'Letter 459. To George Fraser.' in More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, ed. and trans. . cited in , More Letters of Charles Darwin. Original Sources, retrieved 21 January 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PWZQFM5QCFFZMUD.