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Letter 7304

Darwin, C. R. to Moulinié, J. J.

18 Aug 1870


Under present circumstances [Franco-Prussian War] gives up French translation of Descent.


Down Beckenham | Kent [Bassett, Southampton]

Aug 18. 1870

My dear Sir

I have thought it best to tell you that I have sent the M.S. of mynew book to the printers, & shall receive the first corrected proofsin about a month’s time; but all idea of publishing a translationunder present circumstances will of course be given up.f1 I fear alsothat whatever labour you may have bestowed in preparing the new editionof my Origin of species will likewise be thrown away.f2 The title of mynew book is “The Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex”. Itwill consist of 2 vols of the type & size of my Origin, each containinga little over 400 pages.f3 If you have leisure at any time, I should liketo hear how much you have unfortunately done of the translation of theOrigin.

We all in England deeply wish to hear of peace being reestablishedin Europe.

My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Bibliothèque de Genève (BGE, Ms. suppl. 66, ff. 16–17)



CD refers to Descent, which had been sent to the printers, WilliamClowes & Sons, on 9 August 1870, and to the Franco-Prussian war, which beganon 19 July 1870 (see letter from John Murray, 6 August [1870] andn. 3, and letter to Mr Dorrell, 9 August 1870).CD had corresponded with Moulinié about a French translation ofDescent in 1869; it was published in 1872 (Moulinié trans. 1872;see Correspondence vol. 17, letters from J. J. Moulinié, 20 October 1869 and 5 November 1869,and letter to J. J. Moulinié, 23 October [1869]).
CD had asked Moulinié to undertake a new translation of Origin5th ed.; in the event his translation was based on both Origin 5thed. and Origin 6th ed. and appeared in 1873 (Moulinié trans. 1873;see Correspondence vol. 17,letter to J. J. Moulinié, 23 October [1869], and letter fromJ. J. Moulinié, 5 November 1869).
See letter to Mr Dorrell, 9 August 1870and n. 2.
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