Pleased that new German edition of Origin is wanted. Wishes to make corrections.
Suggests German translation of Orchids.
Comments on HGB's book [Untersuchungen (1858)].
Down | Bromley. | Kent S.E.
Dear & much honoured Sir.
I thank you for your very kind letter received this morning.
I am surprised & pleased to hear that a new Edition of the Origin will be
wanted— The last Edition in England contains a considerable number of small
corrections & a few of importance; & I should like to make a few more
corrections on clean sheets of the last English Edition which I will send you—
I hope the Publisher will employ some one to compare the German Edition with this last
In about a months time I shall publish a little book on the Fertilisation of Orchids & on their Homologies,—of which I will send you a copy, as a mark of my sincere gratitude, for I do not suppose that the subject will interest you— I may add that if M Schweizerbart should like to publish (but this is very improbable) a translation I would try & procure stereotype plates of the several woodcuts at no expense beyond the casting But I doubt whether the Book would be worth translating though it contains I believe some new & curious facts—
I have lately been reading the French Copy (for I find the German very difficult) of your great work crowned by the French Academy— I have not finished it, but admire, & am profoundly interested as far as I have gone— I regret deeply that I did not know this book before I wrote the Origin—
With sincere respect & gratitude I remain—Dear Sir. | Yours truly obliged. | Ch. Darwin.
- f1 3470.f1The year is established by the reference to the publication of Orchids (see n. 6, below).
- f2 3470.f2See letter from Heinrich Georg Bronn, [before 11 March 1862].
- f3 3470.f3See letter from Heinrich Georg Bronn, [before 11 March 1862] and n. 4. CD refers to the third English edition of Origin, published in April 1861.
- f4 3470.f4CD sent Bronn the corrections and additions for the new German edition of Origin at the end of April (see letter to H. G. Bronn, 25 April ).
- f5 3470.f5The reference is to CD's `big book' on species, from which Origin had been abstracted (see Correspondence vol. 7). CD made some progress on the work during the first half of 1861, but had since been working on Orchids and `Dimorphic condition in Primula' (see Correspondence vol. 9, `Journal' (Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix II), and this volume, `Journal' (Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix II)).
- f6 3470.f6Orchids was published on 15 May 1862 (Freeman 1977, p. 112). CD included Bronn's name on his presentation list for the volume (see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix IV).
- f7 3470.f7The Stuttgart publishing house E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, headed by Christian Friedrich Schweizerbart, published a translation of Orchids by Bronn later in the year (Bronn trans. 1862; see letter from H. G. Bronn, 27 March 1862, and letter from E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 7 June 1862).
- f8 3470.f8In 1857, Bronn had won a prize offered by the Académie des Sciences of Paris to the author of the best essay discussing the question of how the distribution of fossils in geological deposits helped to provide an explanation for the appearance and extinction of species through time. A German translation of the essay was published the following year (Bronn 1858), but the original French version was not published until 1861 (Bronn 1861). There are lightly annotated copies of both the German and French versions of the essay in the Darwin Library--CUL (see Marginalia 1: 91).
- f9 3470.f9In his essay (Bronn 1858), Bronn discussed the origin of species and argued that species were always created anew by some unknown creative force rather than originating from other species (see, for example, ibid., pp. 232--5).