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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Krause   4 January [1881]1

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

Jan 4th

My dear Sir

I have received Kosmos & your letter.2 I thank you heartily for it. Nothing could be better, & your account of how it came to pass about Buffon & Coleridge is perfectly clear.3 My daughter has as yet only roughly translated to me the article in Kosmos & your letter,4 but I have not yet heard the answer to Butler about the extracts. I shd. much like to see your article in Kosmos translated & published in England; but I believe that Mr. Butler wishes for notoriety, & wd be pleased at its publication, for as he is utterly unscrupulous he would call me & you liars & rogues. I will consult one or two wise men, & be guided by their opinion. Anyhow I can at any time have the satisfaction of referring anyone who doubts my word to Kosmos.— Again I thank you most truly.— I will write again, when I see my way.—

My dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S | I have now had your letter for Pop. Science read aloud to me.—5 It is quite excellent, & perhaps wd suffice without a translation of article in Kosmos.— But I will get good judgment.

I suppose you do not care whether it is published in Athenæum which has larger sale than in Dallas’s Journal.—6 I lean to the latter.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Krause, 2 January 1881.
In his letter of 2 January 1881, Krause had enclosed his review of Butler 1880 in Kosmos (Krause 1881b), and a separate response to specific accusations made by Samuel Butler.
Butler had accused Krause of extracting quotations from Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, without acknowledgment from Butler 1879 (see Butler 1880, pp. 62–3; see also letter from Ernst Krause, 2 January 1881 and n. 4).
Elizabeth Darwin had translated Krause’s review in Kosmos, and Emma Darwin had translated his letter (see letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January 1881).
Krause had suggested that his reply to Butler be published in Popular Science Review.
William Sweetland Dallas was the editor of Popular Science Review. A translation of Krause’s reply to Butler was published in Nature, 27 January 1881, p. 288; this was a slightly revised version, dated 12 January 1881, of the text he sent to CD on 2 January 1881.


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. 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.

Krause, Ernst. 1881b. Unconscious memory by Samuel Butler. Kosmos 8 (1880–1): 321–2.


CD is pleased with EK’s account in Kosmos [8 (1880–1): 321–2] of the Buffon and Coleridge passage [cited by Samuel Butler, see 12939, 12969]. Would like a translation published in England, but Butler seeks notoriety and would make unscrupulous use of it. Will ask advice. Thinks EK’s letter to Popular Science Monthly, just received, an excellent reply to Butler.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Sent from
Source of text
The Huntington Library (HM 36211)
Physical description
ALS 5pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12976,” accessed on 4 March 2024,