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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. V. Carus   29 April 1869


April 29th., 1869.

My dear Sir,

During the present bookseller-fair Mr Koch (Schweizerbart) called here and told me, that a new edition of the translation of the “Origin” would be necessary, to be published in the first part of next year. He intends to begin the printing of it in October next. As far as I know there has not been a new edition of that work in England since 1866.1 Should it have been the case I should be sorry to have overlooked it. At all events I beg to take the liberty of asking your kind help as in the last edition. If you wish to make any alteration or to give some additions you would oblige me exceedingly if you would kindly prepare them so that I may be able to begin the revision and reworking in September. I am afraid I shall not have time to look to it before that time as I am bound to finish my ‘History’ within the next months.2

The Variation under Domestication has also been sold very well.3 As it is rather expensive for German purses, it is no wonder that the whole of the edition has not yet been sold. But I think it always a very good result, that two thirds of the edition are gone, as Mr Koch tells me. I hope we shall have a new edition in 1871.4 Mr Koch also asked me, if any of the works were out which you mention in the Introductory Chapter of the Variation5   I know that is not the case, as you wrote me you were busy on man.6 When this new work of yours will be ready I should be happy if you would allow me to bring it before the German public. Mr Koch, too, makes a point of it to publish your works. Of course I could not speak with him positively about it, as I don’t know what you intend. But I must say it would be very kind of you if you would think of us, if you intend at all to have it translated.7

I hope your health is better than it was when I heard last of you.

Believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | J. Victor Carus


Eduard Koch was the director of E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagshandlung, publishers of German translations of CD’s work. The last German translation of Origin had been the third German edition, Bronn and Carus trans. 1867, including changes made in the fourth English edition, which was published in 1866. The fourth German edition was published in 1870 (Bronn and Carus trans. 1870), incorporating changes from the fifth English edition.
Carus was at work on his Geschichte der Zoologie bis auf Joh. Müller und Charl. Darwin (Carus 1872).
Carus had made the German translation of Variation (Carus trans. 1868); see Correspondence vols. 15 and 16.
The second German edition of Variation was published in 1873 (Carus trans. 1873).
See Variation 1: 4–9, where CD wrote of planned ‘second’ and ‘third’ works to follow Variation. These were never published.
Carus refers to Descent. No letter in which CD told Carus that he was working on humans has been found.
Carus did translate Descent (Carus trans. 1871).


Carus, Julius Victor. 1872a. Geschichte der Zoologie bis auf Joh. Müller und Charl. Darwin. Munich: R. Oldenbourg.

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

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

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.

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


A new edition [4th German] of Origin to be published by Schweizerbart. JVC asks CD to send any changes or additions.

Variation has sold two-thirds of the first printing [1868].

Hopes he may do translation of CD’s new work [Descent].

Letter details

Letter no.
Julius Victor Carus
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161: 70
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6717,” accessed on 22 September 2020,

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