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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   17 February [1867]

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Feb 17th

My dear Sir

I have read your Preface with care.1 It seems to me that you have treated Bronn with complete respect & great delicacy, & that you have alluded to your own labour with much modesty. I do not think that any of Bronn’s friends can complain of what you say & what you have done. For my own sake I grieve that you have not added notes, as I am sure that I should have profited much by them; but as you have omitted Bronn’s objections, I believe that you have acted with excellent judgment & fairness in leaving the text without comment to the independent verdict of the reader.2 I heartily congratulate you that the main part of your labour is over: it would have been to most men a very troublesome task, but you seem to have indomitable powers of work, judging from those two wonderful & most useful volumes on zoological literature, edited by you, & which I never open without surprise at their accuracy & gratitude for their usefulness.—3 I cannot sufficiently tell you how much I rejoice that you were persuaded to superintend the translation of the present edition of my book, for I have now the great satisfaction of knowing that the German public can judge fairly of its merits & demerits.—4

I have written to Dr. Carpenter for a specimen of the Eozoon & I hear from Mrs. Carpenter that he is out of London, but she thinks he will be able & will have great pleasure in sending you a specimen.5

When I receive it, I will send it by post if not too heavy; but if too heavy by the Booksellers Messrs. Williams & Norgate.

with my cordial & sincere thanks, believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


CD refers to the preface to Carus’s German translation of the fourth edition of Origin (Bronn and Carus trans. 1867). Carus enclosed an English translation with his letter of 11 February 1867.
In the preface to Bronn and Carus trans. 1867, Carus referred to the two earlier editions of the translation of Origin by Heinrich Georg Bronn (Bronn trans. 1860, 1863).
CD refers to the Bibliotheca zoologica (Carus and Engelmann 1861). The volumes are in the Darwin Library–CUL; the second volume is lightly annotated (see Marginalia 1: 160).
Christian Friedrich Schweizerbart, head of the Stuttgart publishing firm E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, had asked Carus to translate the fourth edition of Origin (see Correspondence vol. 14, letter from E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 26 October 1866). On complaints regarding the first two editions of the translation of Origin, and on CD’s satisfaction with Carus as translator, see Correspondence vol. 14, letter from E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 10 May 1866 and n. 10, and letter to J. V. Carus, 10 November 1866.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

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.


CD thinks JVC’s preface is fair to Bronn. Regrets JVC has not added notes of his own, but, having dropped Bronn’s appendix, it is perhaps best to leave the text without comment. Rejoices that the German public can now judge the Origin fairly.

Has written to W. B. Carpenter for a specimen of Eozoon to send to JVC.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Julius Victor Carus
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6 Down letterhead
Source of text
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 6–7)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5403,” accessed on 1 October 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15