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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   5 June 1879

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

June 5 | 1879

My dear Sir

I received this morning from Mr Dallas a translation of the first part of your M.S.; it seems to me very good, tho’ I have only slightly read it over. Mr Dallas wants much to know, on account of his holidays, when he will receive the second part; so be so kind as to inform us.1

I have this day sent my M.S. to the printers, & they promise that they will soon set up the whole, & when I receive a copy, it shall be sent to you—2 I am far more perplexed than ever as to what is best to be done. If both the M.S. are printed there will be two distinct biographies of the same man in one volume. I believe that yours is much the best.

There would not have been so much difficulty, if your Essay had been left as it first appeared, but I am unwilling to strike out all your biographical part.3 I wish that I had sent you all the materials; tho’ there would have been great difficulty in doing this. But as the case now stands, I am almost bound to publish, as so many of my relations have taken trouble to aid me.4

After you have read my uncorrected proof sheets, I shall be anxious to hear what you think will be best to do.

Your best plan would be to intercalate any of my materials which may appear useful to you in your Biography.

I remain my dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


See letter from W. S. Dallas, 4 June 1879. William Sweetland Dallas was translating a revised version of Krause 1879a (see n. 3, below).
William Clowes & Sons were printers to John Murray, CD’s publisher. No letter from the printers has been found, but see the letter to John Murray, 2 June 1879.
Krause was revising his original essay, published in Kosmos (Krause 1879a). CD was preparing a biographical sketch of his grandfather to accompany the English translation of Krause’s account, which focused on Erasmus Darwin’s scientific work; the two essays were published in Erasmus Darwin.
CD had sent Krause some additional material (see, for example, letter to Ernst Krause, 19 March 1879); he had received papers, letters, and other material from various family members (see, for example, letter to Reginald Darwin, 1 April 1879).


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.


Has read Dallas’ translation of first part of EK’s essay [on Erasmus Darwin]. Has sent his MS to printer. Is perplexed by duplication. Thinks EK’s essay is better than his. Wishes he had sent all his material to him for a single biography. Best plan may be for EK to incorporate whatever he thinks useful in CD’s material.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36186)
Physical description
LS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12087,” accessed on 12 September 2023,