To J. J. Moulinié 1 February 1872
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
Feb 1 1872
My dear Sir
You will remember that I proposed to write a letter to you, to be translated & prefixed to your edition of the Origin.1 This seems to me highly desirable, & I now enclose it; but if you or Mr Reinwald2 object to any part of it, or can suggest any improvement, please to inform & return the letter, & I will try to meet your wishes.
I have received 2 clean sheets from the printers, beyond the 3 which I sent you the other day. As I suppose you are in no hurry, I will keep the 2 until I receive more, which must be shortly as I have corrected the last proofs of the whole work.3
I shall never make any further alterations in the Origin, as I wish to reserve what little strength remains to me for new work. Consequently I have had the sheets stereotyped; but I do not suppose that M. Reinwald would think of stereotyping the type; & I should be sorry that he should do so until the first half of the volume is corrected in accordance with the 6th edition4
My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Down, Beckenham, Kent, England.
January 31, 1872.
Permit me to state the circumstances under which I have requested you to do me the favour of translating into French the fifth edition of my Origin of Species. When Madame Clemence Royer published the second French edition, I looked over the proof sheets and gave her all the corrections and additions which was then in my power to contribute. Hence, I never doubted that she would have informed me if at any time a new edition was required. But a third had appeared, which is imperfect, as it contained very few of the corrections by which the fourth English edition was increased to the extent of 54 pages.5 A fifth thoroughly revised English edition was published in the spring of 1869; and now a sixth edition has appeared, and you will be able to correct the latter half of your translation in accordance with it. As I naturally feel very anxious that an edition as complete as possible should circulate in France, I am particularly glad that you have undertaken the translation.
It is my highest ambition to influence the judgement of the naturalists of that country which has given birth to Buffon, Lamarck, the two Geoffroy St. Hilaires, and so many other eminent men of science.6 In order that my motives for supporting your edition may not be misunderstood, permit me to add that I have declined to receive the remuneration which has been kindly offered to me by your publisher for the right of translation. Nor am I bound in honour to refrain from giving all the support in my power to your work, by having received any remuneration from the publisher of Madame Royer’s translation […]7
Encloses a letter to be prefixed to JJM’s translation of the Origin.
Expresses his satisfaction that JJM has undertaken the translation [of a fourth French edition] of Origin. Urges the use of the sixth English edition so as to include corrections and additions.
His interest in influencing the eminent men of science in France.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Moulinié, J. J.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Smithsonian Institution Libraries (Special Collections, Dibner Library MSS 405 A. Gift of the Burndy Library); Paul C Richards (Cat. 241)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8191,” accessed on 20 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8191