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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Louis Rérolle   10 May 1869


the 10 May 69


I have the honour to inform you that the French translation of your Orchis book will be published by Mr Reinwald, at Paris.1 The treaty is decisively concluded with him since eight days, but I could not let you know it earlier. The size of the book will be that of the French translation of your work on the variations of animals and plants, published at the same library by Mr Moulinié.2 It will appear five or six months after I shall have sent to Paris my manuscript, and Mr Reinwald is to write immediately to Mr Murray,3 concerning the acquistion of the woodcuts.

I shall now, Sir, persue the work of revision which I have undertaken, examining with much care the Orchid-flowers, under the direction of Mr Faivre;4 Save the Mormodes Ignea, Angræcum Sesquipedale, Cephalanthera grandiflora, and perhaps one or two others, I think I shall be able to see and study by myself every flower you have described.5 I will do my best to respond well to the honour you did me, in giving me your authorization.

As you intend to join to the French edition a series of notes, be so kind as to send me them as soon as possible, indicating at the same time the place you wish to give them, either in the course, or at the end of the book.6 The simplest manner to send them to Lyons is to give them to the post, under bonds, as a manuscript or a commercial paper.

According to the advice of Mr Faivre, I will perhaps write three or four pages of introduction, these I will send you, desiring to write nothing which you would object to.

Allow me, Sir, to thank you for your kindness in sending me your very interesting work on climbing plants,7 and to assure you of the deep respect with which I have the honour to be | Your most obedient servant | Louis Rérolle


Rérolle refers to Orchids and the publisher Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald (C. Reinwald). See also letter from Ernest Faivre, 15 March 1869.
The French translation of Variation by Jean Jacques Moulinié (Moulinié trans. 1868) was also published by C. Reinwald.
John Murray.
Ernest Faivre.
Mormodes ignea is a South American orchid; Angraecum sesquipedale is from Madagascar; Cephalanthera grandiflora (now C. damasonium) is native to southern, central, and western Europe.
For more on CD’s additions, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 March [1869], n. 5.
Climbing plants.


Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

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


French translation of Orchids will be published by Reinwald. Asks for CD’s new footnotes to be sent.

Letter details

Letter no.
Louis Rérolle
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 176: 130
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6741,” accessed on 2 June 2020,

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