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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Heinrich Georg Bronn   4 February [1860]1

Down Bromley | Kent

Feb. 4th

Dear & much honoured Sir.

I thank you sincerely for your most kind letter.2 I feared that you would much disapprove of the “Origin”, & I sent it to you, merely as a mark of my sincere respect. I shall read with much interest your work on the productions of Islands, whenever I receive it.3 I thank you cordially for the notice in the Neuen Jahrbuch für Mineralogie,4 & still more for speaking to Schweitzerbart about a Translation;5 for I am most anxious that the great & intellectual German people should know something about my Book—

I have told my publisher to send immediately a copy of the new Edition to Schweitzerbart, & I have written to Schweitzerbart that I give up all right to profit for myself; so that I hope a Translation will appear.6 I fear that the Book will be difficult to translate & if you could advise Schweitzerbart about a good Translator, it would be of very great service. Still more if you would run your eye over the more difficult parts of the Translation; but this is too great a favour to expect.— I feel sure that it will be difficult to translate from being so much condensed.

Again I thank you for your noble & generous sympathy & I remain with entire respect. | Yours truly obliged | C. Darwin

The new Edition has some few corrections, & I will send in M.S. some additional corrections & a short Historical Preface to Schweitzerbart.—

How interesting you could make the work by editing (I do not mean translating) the work & appending notes of refutation or confirmation.—7 The Book has sold so very largely in England that an Editor would, I think, make profit by the Translation.—


Dated by the reference to a German translation of Origin.
Bronn’s letter has not been found, but see the letter to T. H. Huxley, 2 [February 1860].
Bronn 1860b. There is an annotated copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
Bronn 1860a.
The reference is to Christian Friedrich Schweizerbart, owner of the Stuttgart publishing firm E. Schweizerbart.
See letter to John Murray, 4 February [1860]. CD’s letter to E. Schweizerbart has not been found.
CD told Huxley that Bronn ‘seems slightly staggered by Nat. Selection’ (letter to T. H. Huxley, 2 [February 1860]). Bronn himself took on the task of providing the first German translation of Origin, to which, as CD suggested, he appended his own remarks (see letter to H. G. Bronn, 14 July [1860]).


Discusses possible translation of Origin into German. Could HGB advise E. Schweizerbart [Stuttgart publisher] about good translator. Suggests Bronn edit the translation.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Heinrich Georg Bronn
Sent from
Source of text
State Library of South Australia (Archival collections D 4639(L))
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2687,” accessed on 21 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8