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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   9 March 1879

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

March 9th. 1879

My dear Sir

My Brother & self have read with great interest your sketch of the life of my Grandfather.—1 The idea has crossed our minds to get a translation made & publish it, in order to do honour to our grandfather. But before thinking any more on the subject, I should be greatly obliged, if you would inform me whether you or the other Editors of Kosmos would object to our bringing out a translation.— If you grant your permission, & we decide to do so, we would endeavour to get Mr Dallas (who translated F. Müller ‘Fur Darwin’) to translate your essay, as he is an excellent German Scholar.—2

We shd. perhaps offer the translation to Mr. Morley for the Fortnightly Review (one of the best of our English Journals) but we doubt whether it would suit him.3 In this case we would publish it at our own expence as a separate little book.4

I hope that you will forgive me for troubling you with this request, & with cordial thanks for the honour which you have conferred on my grandfather, I remain | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


See letter from E. A. Darwin, 8 March [1879]; Krause published ‘Erasmus Darwin, der Großvater und Vorkämpfer Charles Darwin’s: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Descendenz-Theorie’ (Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandfather and forerunner: a contribution to the history of descent theory; Krause 1879a) in Kosmos in February 1879.
The other editors of Kosmos were Otto Caspari and Gustav Jäger. William Sweetland Dallas had translated F. Müller 1864 (W. S. Dallas trans. 1869).
John Morley was the editor of the Fortnightly Review.
In the event, the book was published by John Murray, CD’s publisher; it consisted of a 130-page ‘Preliminary notice’ by CD and a translation of a reworked version of Krause 1879a (Erasmus Darwin).


Dallas, William Sweetland, trans. 1869. Facts and arguments for Darwin. By Fritz Müller. London: John Murray.

Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1879.

Krause, Ernst. 1879a. Erasmus Darwin, der Großvater und Vorkämpfer Charles Darwin’s: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Descendenz-Theorie. Kosmos 4 (1878–9): 397–424.

Müller, Fritz. 1864a. Für Darwin. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.


CD and his brother Erasmus have read EK’s article on Erasmus Darwin. Asks whether EK would object to a translation by W. Dallas, to be offered to Fortnightly Review or to be published at CD’s expense as a book.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36175)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11920,” accessed on 27 May 2024,