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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ludwig Rütimeyer   4 May [1867]1

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

May 4

My dear Sir

I am very much obliged to you for your never failing kindness in sending me so many of your works, which I have long esteemed as of the highest value.2 I am now correcting the proof sheets of a work on the variation of domestic animals & plants, & in this I have a short chapter on pigs, cattle &c; it contains no original matter & is compiled largely from your works; but this chapter has now been printed, & therefore I shall not be able to improve it from any facts contained in the second part of your work on cattle which I have just received.3

Prof. Victor Carus is going to translate my book into German & I will send you a copy when it is published, which I suppose will be towards the close of this year; but I fear there will not be much in it that will interest you.4

With my sincere thanks | believe me my dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to the printing of Variation, which had started to be set up in type by March 1867 (see letter from John Murray, 19 March [1867]); it was published in January 1868 (Freeman 1977).
There are a number of works by Rütimeyer published in 1867 or earlier in the Darwin Archive–CUL, all inscribed by the author. In the Darwin Library–CUL are Rütimeyer 1861 (heavily annotated; see Marginalia 1: 718–26) and Rütimeyer 1863 (annotated; see Marginalia 1: 718). In the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL are offprints of Rütimeyer 1862 (annotated on the back, ‘not read’), Rütimeyer 1865a (lightly annotated), Rütimeyer 1865b, Rütimeyer 1866 (annotated), and Rütimeyer 1867a–d; Rütimeyer 1867d is annotated.
CD refers to chapter 3 of Variation, on pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats; Rütimeyer is cited extensively throughout. The second part of Rütimeyer’s work on cattle was Rütimeyer 1867b.
Julius Victor Carus’s translation of Variation (Carus trans. 1868) was published by July 1868 (see letter from Eduard Koch, 21 July 1868, Calendar no. 6284). CD sent a presentation list for the translation to his German publisher in November 1867 (see letter to E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 22 November [1867]); Rütimeyer’s name was on it.


Calendar: A calendar of the correspondence of Charles Darwin, 1821–1882. With supplement. 2d edition. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1994.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

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.

Rütimeyer, Ludwig. 1861. Die Fauna der Pfahlbauten in der Schweiz. Untersuchungen über die Geschichte der wilden und der Haus-Säugethiere von Mittel-Europa. Basel, Switzerland: Bahnmaier’s Buchhandlung (C. Detloff).

Rütimeyer, Ludwig. 1862. Eocaene Säugethiere aus dem Gebiet des Schweizerischen Jura. Neue Denkschriften der allgemeinen Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für die gesammten Naturwissenschaften 19: 1–98.

Rütimeyer, Ludwig. 1863. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der fossilen Pferde und zu einer vergleichenden Odontographie der Hufthiere im Allgemeinen. Basel, Switzerland: Schweighauserische Buchdruckerei.

Rütimeyer, Ludwig. 1866. Über Art und Raçe des zahmen europäischen Rindes. Archiv für Anthropologie 1: 217–50.

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


Thanks LR for sending his works.

Correcting proofs of Variation.

Chapter on pigs and cattle derived mostly from LR’s work.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Karl Ludwig (Ludwig) Rütimeyer
Sent from
Source of text
Universitätsbibliothek Basel, Handschriften (G IV 91, 4)
Physical description
LS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5527,” accessed on 10 December 2023,

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