(Read July 1,1858.)
London, June 30th, 1858.
My Dear Sir:—The accompanying papers, which we have the honour of communicating to the Linnean Society, and which all relate to the same subject, viz., the Laws which affect the Production of Varieties, Races, and Species, contain the results of the investigations of two indefatigable naturalists, Mr. Charles Darwin and Mr. Alfred Wallace.
- From Vol. III. (1858) of the 'Journal' of the Linnean Society. The original announcement of the principle of the origin of species by natural selection made by Darwin and Wallace before the Linnean Society will be of great interest to readers of this journal. It is perhaps the most important event in the history of science, and the circumstances give to it a dramatic character. Sir Charles Lyell and Sir Joseph Hooker explain in their letter of transmission how it came to pass that the manuscripts were presented. In this connection, however, the following extract of a letter from Darwin to Lyell (June 25, 1848) may be reproduced: There is nothing in Wallace's sketch which is not written out much fuller in my sketch, copied out in 1844, and read by Hooker some dozen years ago. About a year ago I sent a short sketch, of which I have a copy, of my views (owing to correspondence on several points) to Asa Gray, so that I could most truly say and prove that I take nothing from Wallace. I should be extremely glad now to publish a sketch of my general views in about a dozen pages or so; but I cannot persuade myself that I can do so honourably. Wallace says nothing about publication, and I enclose his letter. But as I had not intended to publish any sketch, can I do so honourably, because Wallace has sent me an outline of his doctrine? I would far rather burn my whole book, than that he