skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   18 April [1867]1

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

April 18th

My dear Sir

My letter has given you a false impression.— The wish never for a moment crossed my mind that Vogt should translate my book in preference to you; but I thought it possible from what you said of your other great undertakings in hand, that you might wish to give up the translation. In my letter to Prof. Vogt in thanking him for his wish I said that I thought it possible, but not probable, that you might, when you heard of the size of my book, wish to give it up, & in that case I shd. feel gratified by his undertaking the Translation. As you are not frightened at the undertaking, I shd. be most truly grieved that there should be any change.— I am sorry that my letter has given you the trouble of writing to me.—2

I am surprised that I have not yet received any clean sheets; but my printers, I know, sometimes have the habit of not beginning to print off, until the whole volume is set up in type.3

With cordial thanks for all your kindness, I remain | My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I wrote two days ago to Häckel.—4

I have been rather surprised at receiving an application for clean sheets for a Russian Translation of my Book—5


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 15 April 1867.
CD refers to his letter to Carl Vogt, 12 April [1867], in which he suggested that Vogt might translate Variation into German if Carus was too busy. Carus had offered to make the translation in his letter of 5 April 1867, asking at the same time how long Variation would be and when it would be published; CD answered his questions in his letter of 11 April [1867].
In his letter of 5 April 1867, Carus had asked CD to send him proof-sheets to translate.
CD wrote to Ernst Haeckel on 12 April [1867]. Carus had asked CD to persuade Haeckel that his combative style did CD no service (see letter from J. V. Carus, 5 April 1867).
The publishers Trübner & Co. wrote to CD on 26 February 1867, asking for proof-sheets of Variation on behalf of Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky, who wanted to prepare a Russian translation. See also letter from V. O. Kovalevsky, 15 March 1867.


Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Reassures JVC [who had received the impression that CD would prefer Carl Vogt as translator of Variation].

CD surprised at receipt of an application for a Russian translation.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5506,” accessed on 30 September 2023,

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