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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C.-F. Reinwald   1 February 1871

Francfort a/M. 14 neue Rothhofstrasse.

Febr. 1st 1871.

Dear Sir

It is now a few months ago I received at Geneva through Mr. J. J. Moulinié your kind consentement to the publication of a french translation of your new work: “On Man”.1

You will no doubt excuse my silence since that period with the doubtful and dreadful circumstances of the war.2 Mrr Moulinié and Vogt have already prepared the first part of the book,3 and the printing of it could be pushed rapidly as soon as I should be returned to Paris. At all events it seemed to me preferable to have the book printed at Paris, and not neither in Switzerland nor in Belgium.

I intend to return to Paris, as soon as it will be possible and reasonable,4 and I hope that this will be in a fortnight or three weeks. As the postal relations will be opened to-day with the french capital, you may surely direct your communication, if necessary, to my firm, Rue des Saints-Pères No 15. Nothing can be opposed to my speedy return, being myself in possession of the right of a french citizen (par naturalisation); besides this several of my clerks were left at Paris, and corresponded with me by means of the Balloons.5

The printing of the new edition of the Species was nearly finished, when I left Paris, and this volume can be in sale before Easter.6

I beg to excuse once more, my long silence, but in reality I was not at all of opinion to have your new and important work printed elsewhere as at Paris.

It send this note through Messrs John Murray, to whom I write in behalf of the wood-cuts.7

I remain, Dear Sir | Your most obedient servant | C Reinwald


CD’s letter agreeing to a translation of Descent by Jean Jacques Moulinié to be published by Reinwald has not been found; however, see Correspondence vol. 18, letter to J. J. Moulinié, 18 August 1870. See also Correspondence vol. 17, letter from J. J. Moulinié, 5 November 1869.
The Franco-Prussian War lasted from 19 July 1870 to 10 May 1871 (Wawro 2003).
Carl Vogt revised Moulinié’s translation of Descent as well as of Origin 5th ed. and Variation (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter from C.-F. Reinwald, 13 November 1869 and n. 2).
Paris was besieged from 19 September 1870 to 28 January 1871 (Wawro 2003).
Balloons were used to carry post out of and into Paris during the siege. Despite the accidents that befell many balloon flights, a substantial amount of Parisian communication was conveyed successfully through this means (Howard 1981, pp. 325–6).
CD had asked for a new translation of Origin 5th ed. to be undertaken. In the event the translation was based on both Origin 5th ed. and Origin 6th ed., and appeared in 1873 (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter to J. J. Moulinié, 23 October [1869], and letter from J. J. Moulinié, 5 November 1869, and this volume, letter to J. J. Moulinié, 28 June [1871], and letter from J. J. Moulinié, 7 July 1871).
John Murray was CD’s publisher.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 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.

Howard, Michael. 1981. The Franco-Prussian War; the German invasion of France, 1870–1871. London and New York: Routledge.

Origin 5th ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 5th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1869.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

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

Wawro, Geoffrey. 2003. The Franco-Prussian war: the German conquest of France in 1870–1871. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Has left Paris because of the war.

J. J. Moulinié and Carl Vogt are at work on Descent, which CR plans to publish in Paris.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 176: 93
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7472,” accessed on 27 February 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19