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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   9 June [1879]1

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

June 9th.

My dear Sir

I am glad to hear of your short historical discussion on evolution, & I think it will be an improvement. I hope that you will not expend much powder & shot on Mr. Butler, for he really is not worthy of it. His work is merely ephemeral.—2 I send a Review, which you may like to see & then burn.—3

Whenever your M.S is complete, you had better send it direct to Mr Dallas, Geological Socy. Burlington House London.—4

From all that you so very kindly say, I daresay I shall see some way out of my perplexity.5

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Krause, 7 June 1879.
See letter from Ernst Krause, 7 June 1879 and nn. 4 and 5. CD refers to Samuel Butler and S. Butler 1879 (Evolution, old and new).
CD sent Krause an unsigned review of S. Butler 1879 from the Saturday Review (see letter from Ernst Krause, 13 June 1879). It was later revealed to have been written by Frederick Pollock ([Pollock] 1879a; for the attribution see Correspondence vol. 28, second letter from R. B. Litchfield, 1 February 1880). Several reviews of S. Butler 1879 had appeared by this time (see S. Butler 1882, p. 385, and Pauly 1982, pp. 167–9). Grant Allen had written a review in the Academy (G. Allen 1879c); one appeared in the Examiner (Anon. 1879), which Butler later assumed was also by Allen (see S. Butler 1882, p. 386). These reviews were all unfavourable.
CD was worried that some of his biographical sketch might duplicate material used by Krause in his revised essay for Erasmus Darwin (see letter to Ernst Krause, 5 June 1879).


Allen, Grant. 1879c. [Review of Evolution, old and new by Samuel Butler.] Academy, 17 May 1879, pp. 426–7.

Anon. 1879. Evolution, old and new. From one standpoint. Examiner, 16 May 1879, pp. 646–7.

Butler, Samuel. 1879. Evolution, old and new: or, the theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, and Lamarck, as compared with that of Mr. Charles Darwin. London: Hardwicke and Bogue.

Butler, Samuel. 1882. Evolution, old and new; or, the theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, and Lamarck, as compared with that of Mr. Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: David Bogue.

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

Pauly, Philip J. 1982. Samuel Butler and his Darwinian critics. Victorian Studies 25: 161–80.

[Pollock, Frederick.] 1879a. Evolution, old and new. Saturday Review 47: 682–4.


CD is glad to hear that EK plans a short historical discussion on evolution [in Erasmus Darwin],

but hopes he will not spend much powder and shot on Butler – his ephemeral work is not worth it. Sends a review [of Evolution, old and new].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36187)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12096,” accessed on 24 May 2024,