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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Anton Stecker   9 March 1878


March 9th. 1878.

Dear Sir:

There shall be edited at Prague a translation of Darwin’s “Origin of species”, and I have the honour to translate this excellent book in our Bohemian languige.1 As I know that you have reserved the right of translation in a foreign language, I beg you to allow that there might also be edited a Bohemian translation of the work I mentioned. You will certainly do it without reflecting on any compensation when I inform you that in publishing it, whe shall certainly have a great loss, so that it would be not possible to pay any sum for the right; on the other side it is rather desirable to edit this excellent work in our language, because there are in Bohemia not many who do understand English as fluently as to be able to read Darwin ‘in originali’.—

I also beg you to give me any notice when and by whom has been published the Russian edition of the ‘origin of species’; I believe that you know the name of the Editor.2 I shall be very much obliged to you for it.

I beg leave to remain, dear Sir, | yours faithfully | Dr: Ant. Stecker.

Jungbunzlau | Bohemia


No Czech translation of Origin was published until 1914 (Klapálek trans. 1914; see Freeman 1977). None of CD’s works were published in a Czech translation in the nineteenth century; in Bohemia and Moravia, his works were usually read in German (see Hermann and Šimůnek 2008, pp. 201 and 205).
Three editions of the Russian translation of Origin had been published by Alexander Ilyich Glazunov (Rachinskii trans. 1864, 1865, and 1873). There is no correspondence between CD and the publisher or the translator, Sergei Alexandrovich Rachinskiĭ; however, CD was acquainted with another of his Russian translators, Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky, who visited Down in 1872 (see Correspondence vol. 20).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Klapálek, František trans. 1914. O vzniku druhů přirozeným výbĕrem čili zachováváním vhodných odrůd v boji o život. By Charles Darwin. (Czech translation of Origin 6th ed.) Prague: J. L. Kober.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Intends to translate Origin and Descent into Bohemian to be published at Prague; asks CD’s permission to do so.

Letter details

Letter no.
Anton Stecker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 177: 249
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11411,” accessed on 7 December 2023,