Balfour to Poulton 15 July 1890

Transcription of part of a letter from Henry Balfour to Edward Bagnall Poulton, Hope Professor of Zoology on 15 July 1890. This letter is held by Oxford University Museum of Natural History:

... ‘I think that I could manage a book upon the ‘growth’ or ‘Evolution’ of the Material Arts of Mankind which could take the form of essays upon the development of various arts, viz. warfare weapons, navigation, agriculture, fire-making, decorative art etc.'

‘I think it would be better to keep to essay form in order not to make the book appear to be posing as a text book in any way, a text book is not really wanted as Tylor & Paschel have both produced good ones which cover the ground well. Also I think that many people will read a book of essays rather than take up a formal text book. I can give plenty of illustrations I fancy. I cannot I am afraid undertake to get the book finished by any given time, but as soon as I get back I will commence + must hope not to be too much interrupted, though my really spare time is always limited. When will the other vols of the series be issued; is it required that they shall all appear about the same time.’

Terms satisfactory, title difficult until written, suggests ‘Evolution in the Material Arts of Mankind’. Returning to Oxford (from Aberdeenshire) soon after the beginning of September.

Transcription by Frances Larson as part of the Relational Museum project, 2002-2006.

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