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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   27 May 1879

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

May 27th 1879

My dear Sir

When the time comes I will give any information in my power about the persons connected with Dr. D.; but I have found very few letters out of the pile which I have looked through worth publishing.1

I am sorry to say that my notice cannot be finished so soon as I had expected, as I could not possibly refuse to sit to a Painter for my portrait for the University of Cambridge.2

With respect to Kosmos I can truly say that I would much more willingly contribute to it than to any other Journal; but I am not able to work many hours per diem like most men, & I particularly dislike changing my work, as nothing fatigues me so much. Therefore I have made it a rule, which I have very rarely broken, never to write in Periodicals. Nor do I feel that I could write short articles with skill & spirit. So pray excuse & forgive me, for I know that I ought to aid in your good work of spreading a belief in Evolution & of discovering new truths in regard to it.3

My dear Sir | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


See letter from Ernst Krause, 23 May 1879. Krause mentioned that he might have to add supplementary notes on some of the people connected to Erasmus Darwin for the German edition of Erasmus Darwin (Krause 1880).
CD was writing a ‘Preliminary notice’ for Erasmus Darwin. A portrait had been commissioned by the Cambridge Philosophical Society to commemorate the honorary doctorate of laws (LLD) awarded to CD by the University of Cambridge in 1877; the portrait showed CD in his red doctor’s robes (see also Browne 2002, p. 451). The artist was William Blake Richmond. The portrait now hangs in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. See frontispiece.
In his letter of 23 May 1879, Krause had asked CD to write an article for the journal Kosmos, which he edited.


Browne, Janet. 2002. Charles Darwin. The power of place. Volume II of a biography. London: Pimlico.

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. 1880. Erasmus Darwin und seine Stellung in der Geschichte der Descendenz-Theorie von Ernst Krause. Mit seinem Lebens- und Charakterbilde von Charles Darwin. Leipzig: Ernst Günther.


CD’s preface [for Erasmus Darwin] is delayed by his sitting for a portrait.

Explains to EK why he feels unable to contribute articles to Kosmos.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36185)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12063,” accessed on 9 June 2023,