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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Jean Jacques Moulinié   18 August 1870

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 my new book to the printers, & shall receive the first corrected proofs in about a month’s time; but all idea of publishing a translation under present circumstances will of course be given up.1 I fear also that whatever labour you may have bestowed in preparing the new edition of my Origin of species will likewise be thrown away.2 The title of my new book is “The Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex”. It will consist of 2 vols of the type & size of my Origin, each containing a little over 400 pages.3 If you have leisure at any time, I should like to hear how much you have unfortunately done of the translation of the Origin.

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

My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


CD refers to Descent, which had been sent to the printers, William Clowes & Sons, on 9 August 1870, and to the Franco-Prussian war, which began on 19 July 1870 (see letter from John Murray, 6 August [1870] and n. 3, and letter to Mr Dorrell, 9 August 1870). CD had corresponded with Moulinié about a French translation of Descent 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 Origin 5th ed.; in the event his translation was based on both Origin 5th ed. 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 from J. J. Moulinié, 5 November 1869).


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

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Jean Jacques Moulinié
Sent from
Bassett Down letterhead
Source of text
Bibliothèque de Genève (Ms. suppl. 66, ff. 16–17)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7304,” accessed on 17 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18