Darwin's publisher was urged not to publish evolution work

  1. AFP - Wednesday, April 25
    LONDON (AFP) - Charles Darwin's publisher was urged by an adviser not to publish the scientist's historic work "On the Origin of Species," The Times reported on Wednesday.

    Citing correspondence between Darwin's publisher John Murray and one of his special advisers Reverend Whitwell Elwin that is on display at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, the paper said that Elwin suggested instead that Darwin write about pigeons.
    Murray asked Elwin for his opinion on Darwin's work on evolution, and unsurprisingly for a reverend, Elwin gave the evolutionary thesis, which challenged Church teaching of creationism, a thumbs-down.
    "At every page I was tantalised by the absence of the proofs," Elwin wrote to Murray in a letter dated May 3, 1859, lamenting the "harder and drier" writing style.
    Elwin instead suggested an earlier work by Darwin on pigeons should be made into a book because "everybody is interested in pigeons."
    "The book would be received in every journal in the kingdom and would soon be on every table."
    As history has shown, however, Murray ignored Elwin's advice and went on to publish Darwin's work.