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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Edouard Brown-Séquard   2 January [1862]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Jany. 2d.

My dear Sir

I cannot resist the opportunity of thanking you for your kind message through Miss Pennington.2 I am extremely much gratified to hear that you intend noticing my Book in some French Periodical.3

Whether you agree with me at all I do not know, as for anything like an approach to perfect agreement, it is out of the question in so complex a subject. But I shall be truly glad to read any criticisms from one who stands so very high in one of the very highest branches of Science, as you stand. Therefore would you have the great kindness to tell me some time when & where you publish any little notice on the subject.— Just at present I am the more glad of any notice in France, as a French Translation will appear very soon.

I daresay you do not remember it, but a year or two ago I was introduced to you at the Philosophical Club, & had some little to me interesting conversation with you.—4

Pray believe me My dear Sir | With sincere respect | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin

I do not know which Edition of my “Origin” you may have seen; but the 3d. Edit. is in some respect considerably improved, & it is this Edition which is now nearly translated into French.—5


The year is established by the reference to the French translation of Origin and by the relationship to the letter from C. E. Brown-Séquard, 13 January 1862.
Miss Pennington has not been identified.
CD may be referring to a meeting of the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society that he attended on 20 May 1858, at which Brown-Séquard was a guest speaker (Philosophical Club minutes, Royal Society; Bonney 1919, p. 139).
Clémence Auguste Royer’s French translation of Origin (Royer trans. 1862) was published on 31 May 1862 by Guillaumin et cie (Journal Générale de l’Imprimerie et de la Librairie 2d ser. 6 (pt 3): 341). CD’s publisher, John Murray, at CD’s request, had sent a copy of the third edition of Origin to Royer in Lausanne, Switzerland, in September 1861 (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to John Murray, 10 September [1861]).


Pleased to hear through Miss Pennington that CEB-S intends to review Origin in a French journal. Suggests 3d ed. as this will soon appear in French translation. Does not expect perfect agreement on so complex a subject as descent.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Édouard Brown-Séquard
Sent from
Source of text
Royal College of Physicians of London (MS-BROWC/981/96)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3372,” accessed on 27 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10