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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   12 July [1879]1

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

July 12th

My dear Sir

Your letter has been a great relief to my mind, for I had got to hate my Notice.2 Of 2 relations whom I can trust one says that she thinks it dull & ought to be much shortened with parts omitted & parts differently arranged, & the other (my Brother) thinks it interesting & wants nothing omitted. A third advises me to shorten about Mrs. Schimmelpenninck.—3

My plan is to take all materials with me to the Lakes, when we go on August 1st for a month’s change & rest, & by that time Mr. Dallas hopes to have whole Translation finished.4

I am extremely glad that you think much need not be omitted either in mine or your article.

A new idea strikes me on which I will reflect: viz that my notice shd. appear after yours & be called “An or Supplementary or additional notice” or some such Title.

You can keep the Proofs, & I will send corrected ones, as soon as such are ready.5

I will write to U. States to enquire if Ms Appleton will bring out Edition there.—6

I am very sorry to hear about Grant Allen: I have not yet read your article.— My memory has grown very poor & I cannot recollect much of what you wrote; but I remember being struck with it,—so much so, that I sent the number to Mr Gladstone to read.7 I do not know Mr Grant Allen personally, & never saw him but feel inclined to like & respect him from his writings, & I am very sorry for him for he writes under very trying circumstances. Therefore I grieve that he shd. have been guilty of plagiarism.—8

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Krause, 10 July 1879.
See letter from Ernst Krause, 10 July 1879; CD refers to his preliminary notice for Erasmus Darwin.
Henrietta Emma Litchfield and Erasmus Alvey Darwin (see letter to G. H. Darwin, 12 July 1879 and n. 3); the person who advised shortening the references to Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck was probably Leonard Darwin, who had suggested that CD should ‘shorten the calumnies’ (see letter from Leonard Darwin, [before 12 July] 1879).
The Darwins were planning a vacation in the Lake District; they stayed in Coniston from 2 to 27 August 1879 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). William Sweetland Dallas was translating Krause’s section of Erasmus Darwin.
Krause had asked whether he could keep the proof-sheets; see letter from Ernst Krause, 10 July 1879 and n. 10.
See letter from Ernst Krause, 10 July 1879 and nn. 11 and 12. Krause’s article, claiming priority for many of the views expressed in G. Allen 1879a, was published in the July 1879 issue of Kosmos (Krause 1879b). In October 1877, CD had sent William Ewart Gladstone two issues of Kosmos, one of which contained Krause 1877a (see Correspondence vol. 25, letter to W. E. Gladstone, 25 October [1877]).
CD had sent supportive comments on G. Allen 1879a (see letter to Grant Allen, [before 21 February 1879]). Allen was trying to support himself by his writing, contributing popular scientific articles to magazines such as the Cornhill and London and short fiction to magazines under the pseudonym J. Arbuthnot Wilson (ODNB).


Allen, Grant. 1879a. The colour-sense: its origin and development. An essay in comparative psychology. London: Trübner & Co.

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

Erasmus Darwin US ed.: Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 1880.

Krause, Ernst. 1877a. Die Geschichtliche Entwicklung des Farbensinnes. [Essay review of Hugo Magnus’s Die geschichtliche Entwickelung des Farbensinnes.] Kosmos 1: 264–75.

Krause, Ernst. 1879b. Nachschrift über Ideen-Adoptiv-Väter. Kosmos 5: 319–24.


Relieved to hear that EK approves of his notice [preface for Erasmus Darwin]. Is reflecting on idea that it might appear after EK’s article as "an additional or supplementary notice".

Grieved to hear that Grant Allen has been accused of plagiarism.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36189)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12150,” accessed on 4 June 2023,