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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   27 March 1879

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Mar 27. 1879

My dear Sir

There is not the least hurry; for I should be very unwilling to begin writing the preface for the next 5 or 6 weeks. Indeed I could hardly do so until I have got all my materials together, & I have written to many members of the family for letters from Dr D. &c   I am somewhat afraid of my preface & your work interfering with each other; but I shall not say one word about evolution & pure science—nor about Dr D’s poetry.1 I shall almost confine myself to his character, anecdotes about him, & letters from him.

But I have begun to make some enquiries as to how far he influenced medical practice in this country. Would it not be a good plan for you to wait until my preface is written, of which I would send you a copy in good hand-writing, & you could then better determine what to add? In the meantime I could have the translation of your present essay begun by Mr Dallas, & passages could easily be added afterwards to it—2

We have not yet decided which of three pictures of Dr D. to have photographed.3 If you bring out a German edition, my brother & myself wd be very glad to supply you with as many copies of the photograph as you require without any expense—

If I do not hear to the contrary I will send your essay in a week or two to Mr Dallas for translation.

My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Charles Darwin


See letter from Ernst Krause, 24 March 1879. Krause wanted to add material to his essay on Erasmus Darwin (Krause 1879a). CD was gathering material from family members for his preliminary notice to the planned English translation of Krause 1879 (see, for example, letter to E. A. Wheler, 26 March 1879).
For the three portraits of Erasmus, see Keynes 1994, pp. 70–9.


Keynes, Milo. 1994. Portraits of Dr Erasmus Darwin, F.R.S., by Joseph Wright, James Rawlinson and William Coffee. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 48: 69–84.

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.


CD has written to members of the family for Dr Erasmus Darwin materials and letters. Is apprehensive lest his preface and EK’s essay interfere with one another. Will confine himself to ED’s character and letters;

has begun investigating the influence he had on medical practice.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36178)
Physical description
LS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11958,” accessed on 22 February 2024,