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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   11 July [1877]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

July 11th

Dear Sir

You are perfectly welcome to translate the paper, (of which I send separate copy by this post) if on further reflexion you think it worth while, but really it hardly appears to me deserving of the honour. Moreover translations have already appeared in the Cologne Gazette & in another German newspaper..—2

I am extremely glad to hear that Kosmos succeeds fairly well.— Several of the articles have interested me much, & I believe almost all would have done so, if I did not find German so difficult to read.3

The discussion written I suppose by you on the sense of colour having been acquired within a recent period seemed to me very curious, & I wrote a short letter to you in regard to what had struck me with respect to my own infants’ power of distinguishing or rather naming colours.— I wrote this when away from home, & forgetting your address addressed it to the care of the publisher of Kosmos, Herr Günther in Leipzig.— It was only a short note of no value.—4

With many thanks, I remain Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Krause, 9 July 1877.
See letter from Ernst Krause, 9 July 1877 and n. 3. CD’s ‘Biographical sketch of an infant’ had been reprinted in Kölnische Zeitung (see letter from Max Schlesinger, 4 July 1877). The other newspaper has not been identified.
CD’s copies of Kosmos are in the unbound journal collection in the Darwin Library–CUL.
See letter to Ernst Krause, 30 June 1877 and n. 1. CD’s letter was inspired by Krause’s review in Kosmos of Hugo Magnus’s Die geschichtliche Entwickelung des Farbensinnes (Magnus 1877a; Krause 1877a). Kosmos was published by Ernst Günther of Leipzig; he has not been further identified.


‘Biographical sketch of an infant’: A biographical sketch of an infant. By Charles Darwin. Mind 2 (1877): 285–94. [Shorter publications, pp. 409–16.]


EK may publish a translation [of "Sketch of an infant"] if he wishes, but CD hardly thinks it deserves the honour.

Glad to hear that Kosmos succeeds fairly well; has found several articles interesting.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36174)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11047,” accessed on 28 May 2024,