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Item 185 - Charles Darwin Catalog 426 (Apr 2014)

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Description


ALS, one page both sides, 5 x 8, personal letterhead, April 20, [1861]. Letter to fellow scientist Oswald Heer. In full: “I am extremely much obliged for the honour & kindness which you have done me by sending your ‘Untersuchungen &c’—The subject has always seemed to me a most interesting & important one; & I hope soon to read your valuable Memoir.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature). Published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: Volume 9, Cambridge University Press, 1994.

In the aftermath of Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species in late 1859, the controversial celebrity scientist remained for the most part behind closed doors, suffering from chronic poor health. Eagerly scrutinizing the scientific community’s response to his work, he carried out extensive correspondences around the world, discussing reviews, articles, and emerging work that found a kinship with his own. One such work was Swiss biologist and paleontologist Oswald Heer’s “Untersuchungen &c” (Examination of the climate and of vegetation conditions of the land in the Tertiary period); the presentation copy that Heer sent to Darwin remains in the Darwin Library at Cambridge, with annotations indicating that Darwin did in fact read the work. A friendly letter with interesting scientific association, written less than two years after publication of his legendary Origin of Species. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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