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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. B. and H. E. Litchfield   5 January [1881]1

4 Bryanston Street | Portman Square | W

Jan 5th.

Dear Father,

We have been reading carefully with George all the Krause Papers2   He Geo inclines rather to thinking that Krause’s reply had better appear in the Pop Sc.. Rev   R. still doubts whether it is any good doing anything—& is very much against sending it to the Athenaeum,3 or against anything appearing as from you or by your instigation in the Pop. Sc. Rev. or elsewhere; & we dont think that there is any “case” worth consulting with Pollock about—4 It would seem to be making it so very important—

The enclosed draft is what we three agree upon as best but we have left it to you, as you did in the last case, to put in some final words of civility. Perhaps you might add—“Doubtless Mr Dallas will be glad to insert it” or words to that effect if you think that it is the fact.5

With regard to the translation we think the thing is so very small that it wd be scarcely possible to offer to pay Dallas for it, & that it is best to say nothing about this   D. is partly mixed up in the affair & could not mind the trouble of translating such a short article—6

We don’t see your point as to K’s paper not containing any indication of you. His paper does surely refer quite plainly enough to your error in the preface as an oversight merely.7

We are just setting off to dinner so this is scrabbled off in a hurry to catch a post—but the thing itself has had full consideration for an hour or more—

Your affect | R B & H E L

See Geos trans of one sentence in Krause8



As far as regards the chief ground of complaint, namely that the revision of my paper, which I made, is not indicated in the Preface, a child might see that we are not here dealing with intention but only with oversight. It would obviously be absurd for an author to wish to attack a previous work by means of a pre/ante dated

I don’t know wh. is correct English article

CD annotations

Top of enclosure: ‘translation of a sentence of Krause.’ pencil


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January 1881.
CD had asked the Litchfields and George Howard Darwin to read the letter from Ernst Krause, 2 January 1881, Ernst Krause’s review of Butler 1880 (Krause 1881b), and a response by Krause to specific accusations made by Samuel Butler (see enclosure to letter from Ernst Krause, 2 January 1881).
Krause had suggested that his reply to Butler be published in Popular Science Review (letter from Ernst Krause, 2 January 1881). Butler had used the Athenæum to initiate a public controversy with CD (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter to H. E. Litchfield, 1 February [1880] and enclosure 1).
Frederick Pollock had been consulted about Butler’s letter in the Athenæum of 31 January 1880 (see Correspondence vol 28, letter from R. B. Litchfield, 1 February 1880).
This enclosure has not been found. William Sweetland Dallas was the editor of Popular Science Review. A translation of Krause’s response to Butler was published in Nature, 27 January 1881, p. 288.
Dallas had translated Krause’s essay for Erasmus Darwin.
In his response to Butler, Krause had summarised and tried to refute the accusations against CD (see enclosure to letter from Ernst Krause, 2 January 1881, and the slightly revised version published in Nature, 27 January 1881, p. 288).
The translation is of part of Krause’s response to Butler.


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.

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


The Litchfields and George Darwin think care should be taken that E. Krause’s reply to S. Butler’s Unconscious memory does not appear to be instigated by CD. Suggest it be sent to Popular Science Review, not Athenæum.

Letter details

Letter no.
Richard Buckley Litchfield; Henrietta Emma Darwin/Henrietta Emma Litchfield
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Bryanston St, 4
Source of text
DAR 92: B88–90, B106
Physical description
ALS 5pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12979,” accessed on 4 March 2024,