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Delaying or Delayed One of the great myths surrounding the Origin is that Darwin delayed publishing the book for twenty years because he feared controversy. The facts however do not support this popular misconception. True Darwin had the critical insight in 1838 after reading Malthus and true he wrote out a sketch of the theory in 1842. Nevertheless Darwin had no intention of publishing anything until he had the facts to back it up. And before he could amass the facts he needed he had to finish the projects he had underway. Between 1838 and 1858 Darwin published his Journal from the voyage 1839 three volumes on the geology of the voyage 1842 1844 and 1846 and four volumes on barnacles two in 1851 two in 1854. He also edited the five-volume Zoology of the Beagle 1838-1843. R. B. Freemans bibliography of Darwins works lists sixteen major scientific papers between 1838 and 1858 and according to The Darwin Correspondence Project he wrote 1624 letters over the same period. He also got married moved twice and had ten children. He was not delaying he was delayed. The latest research has shown that the idea Darwin held back because he was afraid of what people might think is a modern invention. To the contrary Darwin was determined to publish regardless of what people thought. He had discussed his ideas with many peoplemost of whom disagreed with himand always made it clear that he intended to publish his theory despite their objections. Today it seems incredible that anyone would sit on a ground-breaking theory for twenty years but in mid-nineteenth century England the situation was much different. Darwin was in no hurry. Nor until Alfred Russel Wallaces letter arrived in 1858 did he think anyone else was on the same track. Not under any pressure the Darwin family was quite wealthy he was in no rush to publish. More to the point he knew the theory would not be accepted unless he could amass substantial evidence to support it and he was determined to do just that. By 1846 Darwin had wrapped up his geological work and had only the invertebrates left from the voyage. He decided to undertake the barnacles himself. But what he thought would be a yearlong project stretched into eight years because the whole group had to be described not just the specimens he had found and brought back himself. Near the end he would lament I hate a Barnacle as no man ever did before but he stuck it out and ultimately published two monographs so comprehensive they remain the definitive work on the subject. He finished the barnacles in 1854. Finally he could give his full attention to his theory. There is also evidence Darwin thought he needed to establish his credibility as a serious zoologist before claiming to have solved the mystery of mysteries as the astronomer John Herschel called the origin of species. In 1845 Hooker had written to Darwin criticizing the work of a French amateur named Grard saying I am not inclined to take much for granted from any one who treats the subject in his way who does not know what it is to be a specific Naturalist himself. There is no doubt this hit home because Darwin wrote back to Hooker the next day 28