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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   21 June [1869]1

Down, Beckenham | Kent [Caerdeon]

June 21st

My dear Sir

I have despatched by Book-Post, this day “viâ France” (as postage is less) the new Edit. of the Origin, & very truly obliged I am to you for your offer to look through the whole of the new Edit.—2 I have had to make some corrections even since the sheets were printed; & I have been led into one dreadful blunder, (at p. 75), by the false calculation of a mathematical friend.—3

I am very decidedly of opinion that it wd. be mistake to change “enstehung” into “ursprung”, although the latter may be much more correct. If this change were made, purchasers wd think it a new Book & wd. complain; I have known trouble thus caused in England.

I have not changed, & never shall, my House; but the Post-Office have changed the head Post-Town. which for the future will be Beckenham instead of Bromley.—

I am writing this in N. Wales, where I have taken a house for a couple of months for a change & rest, as I have lately not been so well as usual.—4

Believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 3 June 1869.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 3 June 1869 and n. 2. CD refers to the fifth edition of Origin.
See letter from Ponderer to the Athenæum, [before 5 June 1869], and letter to the Athenæum, 19 June 1869. The error was on page 74 of the fifth edition of Origin.
CD and his family stayed at Caerdeon in North Wales from 12 June to 30 July 1869 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Athenæum. 1844. A few words by way of comment on Miss Martineau’s statement. No. 896 (28 December): 1198–9.


Sends new edition of the Origin. Has made some corrections.

Has been led into dreadful blunder on p. 75 by erroneous calculations of a mathematical friend.

Opposes change of Entstehung into Ursprung [in title] even if more correct. It would make readers think it is a new book.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Julius Victor Carus
Sent from
Caerdeon Down letterhead
Source of text
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 19–20)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6790,” accessed on 8 March 2021,

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