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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Ferdinand Maria Malven   12 February [1869]1

Vienna (Austria)

february 12.

Most venerated Sir.

The undersigned begs leave to acquaint You, that in a letter which a few days ago he adressed to the Editors of one of our most renowned and influential Newspapers, the “New free Press”, he suggested the celebration of the to-days 60th. anniversary of your birthday.—2 He expressed therein the wish, that our learned Societies might You give a token of their acknowledgment of your immeasurable and immortal scientifical discoveries and achievements.— Believe me Sir, your name is here and everywhere in Germany as worshiped as that of our ever-lamented immortal Humboldt whose decease by a noteworthy coincidence happened in the same year where your mighty pioneering work appeared!—3 May you excuse my bad English, I never having been in England nor being in the habit to write or to speak English.

May it please you Sir, to agree the tribute of profound respect and veneration of your most devoted and adherent servant.| ferd. Maria Malven, | librarian to the Imp. and Royal | Austrian board of trade, | companion of the royal order of the saviour of Greece.—


The year is established by the reference to CD’s sixtieth birthday.
Malven refers to the Neue Freie Presse, a liberal Viennese daily paper founded in 1864 (Wandruszka 1958, p. 64).
Alexander von Humboldt died in 1859, the year Origin was published.


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.

Wandruszka, Adam. 1958. Geschichte einer Zeitung: Das Schicksal der ‘Presse’ und der ‘Neuen Freien Presse’ von 1848 zur Zweiten Republik. Vienna: Neue Wiener Presse Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft.


Librarian to the Board of Trade proposes a celebration of CD’s 60th birthday by the Vienna Free Press.

Letter details

Letter no.
Ferdinand Maria Malven
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 171: 35
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6610,” accessed on 21 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17