skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Cresy   15 January [1860]1

Down Bromley Kent

Jan. 15th

My dear Sir,

If you kindly would, you could perhaps do me a considerable service.— A M. Talandier, French Master at Royal Military School at Sandhurst writes to me that he wishes to translate the “Origin” into French.—2 He refers me as witnesses of his capability to Louis Blance3 of 13 George St. Portman Sqe & to M. Alexandre Herzen,4 of Park House, Percy Cross [illeg] 5

Now I heard Mrs Cresy say she knew L. Blanc. Could you enquire for me whether he thinks M. Talandier is capable of translating my Book, ie a scientific Book with a good deal of reasoning in it.— I do not think it would be very easy to translate. Can you aid me & let me have a line.—

In Haste to catch Post—

Yours sincerely | C. Darwin

I hope you received copy of my Book.—


The year is given by CD’s reference to a French translation of Origin.
Pierre Théodore Alfred Talandier was one of four masters teaching French at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in Berkshire. CD had previously called upon Cresy to help him obtain information from French sources (see Correspondence vol. 4). For CD’s previous negotiations concerning Louise Swanton Belloc’s proposed translation, see Correspondence vol. 7, letters to John Murray, 14 November [1859], 2 December [1859], and 4 December [1859].
Louis Blanc was a French socialist living in exile in London.
Alexander Ivanovich Herzen was a Russian socialist and revolutionary currently living in England.
CD apparently could not read the writing. He seems to have written ‘Froohham’ over which he then placed a large question-mark, partially obscuring some letters.


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

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


P. T. A. Talandier wants to translate Origin into French. Talandier gave Louis Blanc as a referee. Could Mrs Cresy, who knows Blanc, find out what he thinks of Talandier?

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Cresy, Jr
Sent from
Source of text
Private collection
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2652,” accessed on 14 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8