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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Johannes Japetus Smith Steenstrup   3 April 1851

Down Farnborough Kent

April 3d. 51.

Dear Sir

You will, perhaps, be surprised at not having before heard from me.— I have now finished with your truly valuable collection of fossil Cirripedia.1 My small monograph is printed off, & completed, but owing to the regulations of the Palæontological Society, the copies will not be distributed, till, I believe, the end of this month.2 The specimens are all ready to be packed up, & I delay returning them only that I may include copies of my monograph3 for yourself, Prof. Forchhammer4 & a third copy either (as you may think best) for the University or M. Angelin.—5 The foreign species, by the Rules of the Pal. Soc., are described in notes.6 I am not well satisfied with my monograph but I have done the work as well as I could: I suspect there is very little information added to your excellent memoir.—7 I shall soon publish a monograph on the recent Pedunculata, which, of course, I will send you.—

I have had occasion to remove several specimens, especially of the second lot, from the cards, & in refixing them, I have changed the positions of several so as to class them better, but I have always marked the localities, when the change affected this point. Owing to the fresh distribution of some of the specimens, some of the cards are returned blank, but all the specimens themselves are returned.— If you can spare a few specimens to deposit in the British Museum, I shd. be very glad.—

You were so good formerly as to offer to send me some recent specimens, but I am so immediately going to press, that I will not now trouble you to send them.—8 Allow me most sincerely to thank you & Prof. Forchhammer for having so long entrusted to me your most interesting specimens, which shall be returned (carriage Paid) by the first Packet, after I have got my copies of my Memoir to enclose.—

Believe me, with the truest respect Your’s gratefully | C. Darwin


Steenstrup had lent CD the collection of fossil Cirripedia from the Zoology Museum of the University of Copenhagen (see Fossil Cirripedia (1851): v and Correspondence vol. 4).
The actual date of publication is not known, but see letter to Wilhelm Bernhard Rudolph Hadrian Dunker, 5 April [1851], n. 2.
Most of the author’s copies were not made available to CD until September (see letter to J. J. S. Steenstrup, 9 September [1851]).
Johan Georg Forchhammer had supplied CD with specimens from the collections in the Geology Museum of the University of Copenhagen (see Fossil Cirripedia (1851): v and Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. G. Forchhammer, 3 April [1850]).
In the preface of Fossil Cirripedia (1851): v–vi, CD thanked Nils Peter Angelin for the use of his collection of specimens from Scania, stating: ‘all these northern specimens have been of the greatest use to me in illustrating the British species.’ Steenstrup had arranged for CD to borrow Angelin’s specimens.
The Palaeontographical Society was primarily concerned with publishing descriptions of British fossils (Woodward 1907, p. 162).
CD began correcting the proofs of Living Cirripedia (1851) on 18 August 1851 and finished this work on 12 November (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I). Steenstrup had earlier sent CD much desired specimens of Anelasma squalicola (see Correspondence vol. 4, letters to Sven Lovén, 12 November 1849, and to J. J. S. Steenstrup, 30 December [1849]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Fossil Cirripedia (1851): A monograph on the fossil Lepadidæ, or, pedunculated cirripedes of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1851.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Steenstrup, Johannes Japetus Smith. 1837. Om forverdenens Dyrarter af de tvende familier Anatiferidæ (Gray) og Pollicipedidæ (Gray). Naturhistorisk Tidsskrift 1: 358- 66.

Steenstrup, Johannes Japetus Smith. 1838–9. Bidrag til Cirripedernes historie i fortid og Nutid. Naturhistorisk Tidsskrift 2: 396–415.

Woodward, Horace B. 1907. The history of the Geological Society of London. London: Geological Society.


Fossil cirripedes specimens being returned. Will send a copy of monograph [Fossil Cirripedia]. Discusses work on recent cirripedes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Johannes Japetus Smith (Japetus) Steenstrup
Sent from
Source of text
Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (NKS 3460 4to)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1397,” accessed on 28 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5