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Letter 6955

Darwin, C. R. to Moulinié, J. J.

23 Oct [1869]

    Summary Add

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    Would be delighted to have JJM translate new book [Descent].

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    Can CD legally bring out new edition of Origin in France with new publisher? Has been ill-used by V. Masson and C. Royer. Wants edition without Royer's preface.


Down. | Beckenham | Kent.

Oct. 23d

My dear Sir

My Book will not be published for a very considerable time, but the Publishers wished & insisted on inserting a notice.—

I shall in all probability be delighted if you will translate my new Book, when ready. But I am as yet quite ignorant on the subject, yet it strikes me that I ought to receive some payment from the Publisher in Paris for the right of Translation; & I intend to make enquiries whether this is ever done; but subject to this doubt, I repeat that I shall be very happy if you will undertake the Translation.—

Can you procure for me information on one point: if I give the right of Translation for the first edition, & then make considerable corrections & additions to future editions, am I precluded from giving the right of Translation to some fresh publisher of such new & corrected edition? I ask, because I think I have been badly treated by M. Masson & Madelle C. Royer (for whom I took great trouble); they have just brought out a 3d. French Edit. of my Origin without informing me; consequently the numerous corrections & additions in the 4th & 5th English editions are all lost. Under these circumstances I shd. much wish for a new Edition of the Origin in France, not including Madelle Royer's Preface (with a second one made as injurious to me as she could) & which first Preface I have been assured has injured the circulation in France.— I believe in half a years time or in a whole year it wd answer to any publisher to bring out a corrected French edition, if it is legal in France, or in Belgium.— Pray turn this in your mind; & I wd gladly give you such right of Translation, & inform M. Masson of my motives.—

My dear Sir— | Yours sincerely | Ch Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 6955.f1
    The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. J. Moulinié, 20 October 1869.
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    f2 6955.f2
    See letter from J. J. Moulinié, 20 October 1869 and n. 1.
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    f3 6955.f3
    CD had also inquired about payment from his German publisher (see letter to J. V. Carus, 22 October [1869]).
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    f4 6955.f4
    The references are to Clémence Auguste Royer and Victor Masson and to Royer trans. 1870. CD had evidently already seen a copy of the book and written to Masson informing him that a fifth edition of Origin had appeared (see letter from Victor Masson, 29 September 1869). CD's copy of Royer trans. 1870 is in the Darwin Library--Down House.
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    f5 6955.f5
    CD probably refers to comments such as the ones he received from Edouard Claparède about the first edition of Royer's translation of Origin (see Correspondence vol. 10, letter from Edouard Claparède, 6 September 1862). In the preface to Royer trans. 1870, Royer had criticised CD's hypothesis of heredity, pangenesis, claiming that it had `done wrong' to his theory of transmutation by natural selection (quoted in Harvey 1997, p. 98).
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    f6 6955.f6
    No letter to Masson has been found, but see the letter to John Murray, 8 November [1869]. Moulinié's translation of Origin 6th ed. appeared in 1873 (Moulinié trans. 1873).
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