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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   [12 December 1880]1

Sunday morning

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R. [Leith Hill Place, Surrey.]

(Away from Home return on Wednesday)2

My dear Sir

I am writing in a great hurry on account of Sunday Post.— I am much pleased that you will answer Mr Butler— I have been advised not to do so.—3 What you say in your letter is perfectly true.— Your conduct towards me has been in every respect & at all times most generous.— I think that your answer had better be short.—

Butler has written an abusive letter about me to the newspaper & I have written to a friend to send it you as soon as possible.4 I have not read & do not intend to read a word which he writes— I really think that he is half insane & a lady who knows him well, says it is extreme vanity—

Pray send me a corrected proof of your answer.

Yours ever gratefully | Ch. Darwin

In great Haste


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Krause, 9 December 1880. The Sunday following 9 December 1880 was 12 December.
The Darwins had visited CD’s brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin, in London from 7 December 1880; from 11 December, they stayed at Leith Hill Place, Surrey, the home of CD’s sister Caroline Sarah Wedgwood. They returned home on Wednesday 15 December (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
See letter from Ernst Krause, 9 December 1880 and n. 2. Krause was planning to respond to Samuel Butler’s Unconscious memory (Butler 1880).
Butler’s letter appeared in the St James’s Gazette, 8 December 1880, p. 5.


Butler, Samuel. 1880. Unconscious memory: a comparison between the theory of Dr. Ewald Hering, … and the ‘Philosophy of the unconscious’ of Dr. Edward von Hartmann. London: David Bogue.


CD is pleased that EK will answer Butler. Thinks Butler is half insane.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
"Away from home"
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36203)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12465,” accessed on 15 July 2024,