self-acknowledged presumption


Senior Member
Hello all,

Just want to make sure if I got the meaning of this sentence from Charles Darwin's letter to his friend right, as he was thanking him for praising his work on species, which was probably before publishing his most famous book, The Origin of Species. So, he said:

All of what you kindly say about my species work does not alter one iota my long self-acknowledged presumption in accumulating facts and speculating on the subject of variation, without having worked out my due share of species.

I think he wanted to say that no matter how his friend might praise his research on species, it wouldn't change the fact that he depended on speculations rather than giving enough effort for the subject of species, which he had long admitted. Is this right?
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, he is saying he himself acknowledges that it's presumptuous of him to accumulate...etc. He recognises that this is a fault.
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