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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Carl Vogt1   8 April 1867

Genève

ce 8 Avril 1867

Monsieur et très-honoré Maître!

Je recois à l’instant même de mon éditeur et ami, Mr.  J. Ricker, libraire à Giessen (Hesse) une lettre dans laquelle il m’informe, que vous allez publier un ouvrage en deux volumes sous le titre “Domesticated animals and cultivated plants etc.2 Mr. Ricker me demande, si je ne suis pas disposé à traduire ce livre en allemand et dans le cas où vous n’auriez pas encore disposé du droit de traduction en faveur d’une autre personne, si vous vouliez nous confier à lui et à moi, comme éditeur et traducteur, une édition allemande? Mr. Ricker ajoute: “Veuillez demander à Mr. Darwin s’il demande des des droits d’auteur pour la traduction allemande et quelle serait la somme demandée par lui et, en outre, si son éditeur cède les clichés des illustrations qui doivent orner l’ouvrage et à quel prix?”3

Lors de ma dernière visite en Angleterre il y a quelques années, Mr. Wallace4 et autres me disaient, que vous étiez trop souffrant et que je devais par conséquent renoncer au projet d’aller vous voir. Je me réjouis donc de vous voir rétabli au point de pouvoir songer à la publication d’un grand ouvrage, car c’est vous, Monsieur, qui avez ouvert des voies nouvelles à la science— c’est vous dont nous nous disons avec fierté les disciples.

Je ne vous aurai pas adressé ces lignes si votre ancien traducteur, Mr. Bronn, n’avait malheureusement succombé à de longues souffrances.5 Vous connaissez sans doute mon nom comme homme de science— j’ai aussi quelques titres comme traducteur des “Vestiges of the natural history of creation”, des Lecons de Mr. Huxley etc.6

Agréez, Monsieur et cher maitre, l’expression de mon attachement devoué | C Vogt

Prof. C. Vogt | Pleinpalais | Genève (Suisse)

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix I.
Vogt was born in Giessen, studied there until 1835, and taught zoology there between 1846 and 1848, when he went to Geneva (Judel 2004). Franz Anton Ricker, Vogt’s friend and publisher, took over his brother Joseph’s publishing and bookselling business in Giessen in 1835 after his brother’s death, keeping the name J. Ricker’sche Buchhandlung (Hessische Biographien 3: 301). Vogt also refers to Variation.
CD was in the process of arranging for the German translation of Variation to be translated by Julius Victor Carus and published by E. Schweizerbart’sche Buchhandlung; see letter to John Murray, 4 April [1867].
Alfred Russel Wallace.
Heinrich Georg Bronn, who translated the first and second German editions of Origin (Bronn trans. 1860 and 1863), and Orchids (Bronn trans. 1862), died in 1862.
Vogt was professor of geology at Geneva, and had applied CD’s theory of descent to humans in his Vorlesungen über den Menschen (C. Vogt 1863). His translation of Vestiges of the natural history of creation ([Chambers] 1844) was published in 1851 (C. Vogt trans. 1851); his translation of Thomas Henry Huxley’s On our knowledge of the causes of the phenomena of organic nature (T. H. Huxley 1863b) was published in 1865 (C. Vogt trans. 1865).

Translation

From Carl Vogt1   8 April 1867

Geneva

8 April 1867

Sir and highly honoured Master,

I have just received from my publisher and friend, Mr. J. Ricker, bookseller in Giessen (Hesse) a letter in which he informs me that you are going to publish a work in two volumes entitled “Domesticated animals and cultivated plants etc.2 Mr. Ricker inquires whether I would be inclined to translate this book into German, and if it is the case that you have not yet promised the rights of translation to someone else whether you would be willing to entrust a German edition to him and to me as publisher and translator? Mr Ricker adds “Would you ask Mr Darwin whether he requests the rights of the author for the German translation and what sum he would require and in addition whether his publisher would allow the use of the plates for the illustrations that will ornament the work and at what cost?”3

At the time of my last visit to England some years ago, Mr. Wallace4 and others told me that you were too poorly and that, consequently, I must give up my plan to go to see you. I rejoice now to see that you are improved enough to be able to consider the publication of a major work, for you, Sir, have opened new pathways for science— we proudly call ourselves your disciples.

I would not have addressed these lines to you if your former translator, Mr Bronn, had not unhappily succumbed to his prolonged illness.5 Undoubtedly you know my name as a man of science— I also have some recognition as a translator of “Vestiges of the natural history of creation”, of the Lectures of Mr. Huxley, etc.6

Accept, dear Sir and master, my devoted regards, | C Vogt

Prof. C. Vogt | Pleinpalais | Geneva (Switzerland)

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see pp. 214–15.
Vogt was born in Giessen, studied there until 1835, and taught zoology there between 1846 and 1848, when he went to Geneva (Judel 2004). Franz Anton Ricker, Vogt’s friend and publisher, took over his brother Joseph’s publishing and bookselling business in Giessen in 1835 after his brother’s death, keeping the name J. Ricker’sche Buchhandlung (Hessische Biographien 3: 301). Vogt also refers to Variation.
CD was in the process of arranging for the German translation of Variation to be translated by Julius Victor Carus and published by E. Schweizerbart’sche Buchhandlung; see letter to John Murray, 4 April [1867].
Alfred Russel Wallace.
Heinrich Georg Bronn, who translated the first and second German editions of Origin (Bronn trans. 1860 and 1863), and Orchids (Bronn trans. 1862), died in 1862.
Vogt was professor of geology at Geneva, and had applied CD’s theory of descent to humans in his Vorlesungen über den Menschen (C. Vogt 1863). His translation of Vestiges of the natural history of creation ([Chambers] 1844) was published in 1851 (C. Vogt trans. 1851); his translation of Thomas Henry Huxley’s On our knowledge of the causes of the phenomena of organic nature (T. H. Huxley 1863b) was published in 1865 (C. Vogt trans. 1865).

Summary

Asks whether he may have right to translate Variation into German.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-5495
From
Carl Vogt
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Geneva
Source of text
DAR 180: 10
Physical description
2pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5495,” accessed on 20 July 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-5495.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15

letter