By Charles Darwin, Francis Darwin

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Hooker. To fulfil your request, I ought to tell you what I think the weakest, and what the best, part of your book. But this is not easy, nor to be done in a word or two. , its PLAN and TREATMENT, the vast amount of facts and acute inferences handled as if you had a perfect mastery of them. I do not think twenty years too much time to produce such a book in. ). Then your candour is worth everything to your cause. It is refreshing to find a person with a new theory who frankly confesses that he finds difficulties, insurmountable, at least for the present.

Page civ. You show the case with wonderful force. Your discussion on mixed invaders of the south-east corner (and of New Zealand) is as curious and intricate a problem as of the races of men in Britain. Your remark on mixed invading Flora keeping down or destroying an original Flora, which was richer in number of species, strikes me as EMINENTLY NEW AND IMPORTANT. I am not sure whether to me the discussion on the New Zealand Flora is not even more instructive. I cannot too much admire both. But it will require a long time to suck in all the facts.

Com 44 THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF CHARLES DARWIN Enough for the present. I am not insensible to your compliments, the very high compliment which you pay me in valuing my opinion. You evidently think more of it than I do, though from the way I write [to] you, and especially [to] Hooker, this might not be inferred from the reading of my letters. I am free to say that I never learnt so much from one book as I have from yours, there remain a thousand things I long to say about it. Ever yours, ASA GRAY.

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