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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. V. Carus   3 June 1869


June 3. 1869.

My dear Sir,

I must beg your pardon for answering your kind letter so late.1 But as there there is no hurry for the new german edition, there was no necessity for troubling you again. Now, as the time of the publication of the new English edition is coming on, I answer first your question about this. If you would be kind enough to send me a bound copy I should be very obliged. There is no occasion to send me the corrected sheets, as I shall of course go through the whole new edition line by line.2

I don’t know if the late Mr Bronn has ever written to you about the german title of the “Origin”. His translation of this word by “Entstehung” is not so correct as “Ursprung” would be.3 I used the last word in the few introductory lines I added to the first edition I published after Bronn.4 The publisher has no objection to alter the word in the title.5 I am rather doubtful if it would be well done; for the book is now known in Germany as “Entstehung”. Of course there is plenty of time to think of this, yet I thought it better to mention it to you. Perhaps you will be so good as to tell me some time what you think best.

I see from your letter that you changed your residence. As I don’t know if it is only a temporary change I direct these lines to Beckenham, hoping that they will reach you.6

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


Carus refers to the fifth edition of Origin, which was published in the week beginning 22 June 1869 (letter from Robert Cooke, 22 June 1869). The German edition corrected from this edition was published in 1870 (Bronn and Carus trans. 1870).
Heinrich Georg Bronn translated the first and second German editions of Origin (Bronn trans. 1860 and 1863); his work formed the basis of Carus’s later German editions of Origin.
Carus refers to Bronn and Carus trans. 1867.
The publisher was Eduard Koch of E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagshandlung.
CD’s postal address had changed from Bromley to Beckenham in April 1869.


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.


Will use new English edition [5th, of Origin] in preparing for [4th] German edition. Bronn’s translation of Origin in the title as "Entstehung" is not so precise as "Ursprung" would be. The publisher does not object to changing the title, but JVC is doubtful, because the Origin is so well known in Germany as Entstehung. Asks CD’s opinion.

Letter details

Letter no.
Julius Victor Carus
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161: 71
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6774,” accessed on 2 June 2020,

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