To J. V. Carus 8 October 1
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Sir
I am much obliged for your long & interesting letter.— I am very glad to hear about the new German Edit. of the Origin; for I am now preparing (& have finished more than half) a new English Edition.—2 I have altered the style here & there & made some few corrections & additions. There is one important change, for I have added a new Chapter called “answers to miscellaneous objections to the theory of N. Selection”; in this I give parts taken out of Chapt IV. which will not cause you much trouble; but have added a good many pages of new matter in answer to Mr Mivart’s book the Genesis of Species which has produced a great impression in England, without, as I believe, a sound foundation.3 I have found much of the matter which I added to the last edition, badly arranged & badly written. I suppose I shall begin to print rather soon, & I cd. send you clean proofs or bundles of perfect clean sheets, according or not as you wished for them very soon.
This work has proved rather heavy, & I have lost nearly 2 months by ill-health, so that I have had to lay aside my expression-essay, & I do not suppose that it will be printed till next spring or summer.4 I will let you know when it is ready & I shall be pleased for you to translate it.
With respect to the Descent of Man my publisher has never broken up the type, & consequently I have been able only to make small alterations.5 I should like thoroughly to revise the book, but there is no early prospect of this, so that the German edition may be reprinted.6 I could also improve somewhat “Variation under Domestication” but I have not strength or time.7
I cannot remember whether any right of translation of my Journal was given to Dr Dieffenbach, but I think it was translated before the law was passed.8 Could you not tell by looking to the title-page of the German ed.? If you cannot thus find out, I cd enquire for you from Mr Murray; but whether he could ascertain I do not know.9 I shall be pleased to hear that you will translate it, & I think it will answer, for some foreign editions of it have lately appeared or will soon do so, in America, Sweden & France.10
I think I have now answered all your questions about my books, perhaps at too great length.
Many thanks for your information about the ancient horses, & for yr remarks about white sea-birds. My son tells me that the coast-guard boats in England are always painted white. I hardly see what danger such birds are exposed to. Perhaps they cd catch fish easier thro’ their colour, yet there are many black fishing birds.
With many thanks for your invariable kindness I remain my dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin
P.S. My journal of travels was originally published by Colburn & Co 1839. together with Fitz Roy & King’s Voyages, & I imagine it was this volume that was translated by Dieffenbach; I subsequently greatly condensed, added to, & I hope, improved the work, as it is was published (1845) by Murray, & it still goes on selling.11 If I am right in my supposition, I should be very glad to see a new translation in Germany
I am very glad indeed to hear that your health is improved.
If you publish Translation, I daresay Murray wd supply you at only small profit to himself stereotypes of the four woodcuts in the volume.—
Glad to hear of new German edition of Origin. He is revising the English edition, adding a new chapter of "Answers".
No new edition of Descent has appeared.
Would be glad to see a new translation of the Journal of researches, which he revised in 1845.
Comments on white colour of sea-birds.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Carus, J. V.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Slg. Darmstaedter LC 1859 Darwin, Charles, Bl. 74–7
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7994,” accessed on 25 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7994