Thank you very much for all the information you have sent me.
I have been in a long correspondence with a retired prof. of genetics N W Simmonds, … He is also a PM fan. I helped him write a brief biography for the Biologist; he is a fellow of the Institute. That journal occasionally publish about some distinguished people who have been pushed off the scientific stage. So there is a brief biography of PM awaiting approval for publication. Perhaps he might go to Dundee for the Robert Smith meeting. Who was Robert Smith?
Errol Jones wrote to say she was expecting Min to visit her. I also received the documents you got and which I now return. I sent copies of the books to people recommended by Errol. If all PM’s family had been as loyal one would have much more information about PM.
I am sending you a short essay I got together for my data file on Punctuated Equilibrium. Darwin comes out quite well because Gould and Eldredge, like most academic Darwinists, have no idea about what is in the Origin of Species. All the same I support punctuated equilibrium which is old hat.
I am also sending you evidence how dishonest Gould can be. I sent him detailed documents about PM but see what he has written. Is dishonest too strong a word?
I mention in my book that Lamarck has been written out of English text books. 1942 Julian Huxley’s Evolution the Modern Synthesis. No mention of Lamarck. Cuvier gets half a sentence. The evidence is that Darwin was a covert Larmarckian and that is why he refused to give his sources in every edition of the Origin. After Lyell’s strong letter to Darwin in 1863 Darwin became a bit more honest as I have indicated in the essay. It is not Darwin’s fault entirely that PM was written out of English text books.
Some time before Christmas an American phoned – W G McCutchin. He had noticed the advert in the New Scientist and bought a copy of the book. Very interested in PM and spent two long phone calls talking about him and the book. He wanted a copy of Naval Timber so I sent him my photocopy. He has now gone back to the States and I have not heard form him since. I hope I hear form him again. Errol Jones sent me her copy of Naval Timber which I photocopied and returned her copy.
So that is the briefing up to date. I feel very guilty encroaching on your time but very grateful for all your kind assistance. Best wishes to all.
PS I am really worried about Iain Robb. He was a great distributor of the 1st edition and I would like to send him some copies of the 2nd. Would he be in the telephone directory?
Notes and Comments by Mike Sutton
Norman (N.W.) Simmonds was a very well liked botanist, plant breeder and geneticist who was particularly well known for his expert work on bananas. His biography is here.
Errol Jones is Matthews great granddaughter. She is part of the New Zealand branch of the family. Her book "Shadows on my Wall" provides much family oral history and photographs about Matthew and his sons.