One page, 8vo." />
3 December 2010
DARWIN, Charles. Autograph letter signed ("C. Darwin"), to William Sharpe. Down, Farnborough, Kent, n.d. ("Wednesday"). One page, 8vo.
A FINE SCIENTIFIC LETTER, written to an English poet-philosopher William Sharpe, and mentioning the famed geologists Christian Leopold von Buch and William Hopkins: "As I have not heard from you I suppose you do not want Von Buch's Tracts, so I send Hopkin's solus. Please keep it as long as you want & return it directed to me at the Athenaeum Club. If the Drawer's happen to be ready the carrier shall take them." Sharpe was the author of Man, A Special Creation, or, the Preordained Evolution of Species (1873), one of numerous late 19th century writers who attempted to combine Darwin's evolutionary theory with the notion of a divine creator. Von Buch (1774-1853) was a student of Alexander von Humboldt (Humboldt called him the greatest geologist of his time) and his work on volcanic activity and its effects on botanical specimens became an important source for Darwin. So too were the geological researches of William Hopkins (1793-1866), who overturned Charles Lyell's (and, for a time, Darwin's) notion that the earth's crust was a thin layer formed over a liquid core. Hopkins would later become an important critic of Darwin's theories.
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