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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. S. Dallas   4 June 1879

Geological Society, | Burlington House, | W.

4 June 1879

My dear Mr. Darwin

I have at last finished the translation of the portion of Dr Kraus’ essay on Erasmus Darwin.—1 It has taken me much longer than I expected, because I found that I could only read the MS. readily by daylight, & as all my days are occupied, you will easily understand that I had not much time to give to it until quite lately.—

I finished the translation on Monday, but could not then send it to you as there was a quotation from “Zoonomia” which the author had translated, & it was only this morning that I got to see the work at the Royal Institution.—2 You will see that in some places I have put critical remarks & queries, some of which you can perhaps settle at once—

In general I have tried to keep as close to the wording of the original as possible, but in many cases it was impossible to do anything but paraphrase.— I think, however, that in all cases I have stuck very close to the sense

Have you heard anything from the author about the concluding portion of the work.— He said it would come in a fortnight or three weeks; but a good deal more delay has taken place & no copy has arrived.— If you have heard nothing from him, I had better write, as I am anxious to get all work cleared off by about the middle of July so as, if possible, to get a good holiday.— I should like to know what your intentions are with regard to publication.— I ought to see the proofs, as in translating there are always sure to be points which can be improved by very slight alterations when one sees the matter in type.— My present intention (or hope) is to get away about the 20th. July, &, to stay away until the end of August,— if you publish in October, the printing can be done in September,—Otherwise I must make some special arrangement.— Will you kindly write me a few lines to let me know about this.—

Yours very truly | W. S. Dallas.

I should like to have the German MS. when I read the proofs.

CD annotations

4.3 If … possible, 4.5] scored pencil


Dallas was translating a revised version of Ernst Krause’s essay on Erasmus Darwin (Krause 1879a).
Zoonomia; or, the laws of organic life. (E. Darwin 1794–6). Dallas refers to the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Albemarle Street, London.


Darwin, Erasmus. 1794–6. Zoonomia; or, the laws of organic life. 2 vols. London: J. Johnson.

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.


Has finished the first part of Krause’s MS [of Erasmus Darwin]. Expects to receive the concluding portion soon.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Sweetland Dallas
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Geological Society
Source of text
DAR 99: 107–8
Physical description
ALS 4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12083,” accessed on 12 September 2023,