skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Fritz Müller   18 March 1869

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

Mar 18 1869

My dear Sir

Since I wrote a few days ago & sent off three copies of yr book, I have read the English translation, & cannot deny myself the pleasure of once again expressing to you my warm admiration.1 I might, but will not, repeat my thanks for the very honourable manner in which you often mention my name; but I can truly say that I look at the publication of yr essay as one of the greatest honours ever conferred on me. Nothing can be more profound & striking than yr observations on development & classification. I am very glad that you have added yr justification in regard to the metamophoses of insects, for yr conclusion now seems in the highest degree probable.2 I have re-read many parts; especially that on cirripedes with the livliest interest. I had almost forgotten yr discussion on the retrograde development of the Rhizocephala.3 What an admirable illustration it affords of my whole doctrines! A man must indeed be a bigot in favour of separate acts of creation, if he is not completely staggered after reading yr essay; but I fear that it is too deep for English readers, except for a select few.

With cordial gratitude & respect believe me my dear Sir | yours truly | Charles Darwin


See letter to Fritz Müller, 14 March 1869 and n. 1. CD’s annotated copy of Dallas trans. 1869 is in the Rare Books Room–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 609).
For the text of Müller’s addition on insect metamorphosis, see Dallas trans. 1869, pp. 119–21. Müller had argued that metamorphosis in insects was not inherited from a primitive ancestor but had been acquired at a later period.
Müller had hypothesised that Rhizocephala probably developed from a conventional cirripede, with its cement ducts converted into nutritive filaments and without any protective covering, limbs, or mouth (see Dallas trans. 1869, pp. 137–9).


On English edition of Für Darwin; CD’s gratitude and admiration.

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, C. R.
Müller, J. F. T.
Sent from
Source of text
British Library (Loan 10:28) (by kind permission of English Heritage)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6668,” accessed on 1 March 2017,