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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emile Alglave1   17 March 1871

le 17 mars 1871

Cher monsieur

Non seulement notre Revue va reparaitre immédiatement d’une façon régulière, mais, à la différence des autres periodiques scientifiques de Paris, elle n’a même pas été complètement interrompue pendant le siège; nous avons fait paraitre 9 numéros depuis le commencement d’octobre.2 Plus nos malheurs ont été grands, plus il est nécessaire de se remettre immédiatement au travail et de chercher à corriger les defauts qui nous ont perdus. On commence à comprendre partout que nous avons été vaincus par la science des Allemands bien plus que par leur courage, et pour nous relever il faut avant tout relever et etendre nos études scientifiques.

Aussi nous allons augmenter notre format de moitié à partir du 1er avril prochain et aborder un peu plus qu’auparavant les rapports des sciences avec la politique et l’economie politique. Notre titre, qui se referait seulement aux lecons devenait décidément trop etroit, et, en commencant dans 15 jours, la deuxième série de notre publication, nous prendrons le titre de Tribune scientifique, sans abandonner toutefois celui sous lequel nous sommes dejà connus.3

Ceci m’amène à vous reparler de votre nouveau livre. On vient de m’en prêter un exemplaire sur lequel j’ai pu prendre une ideé générale de son étendue, et de ses divisions; quant au fond j’en connais d’avance toute la valeur.4 L’extension de notre format me permet de publier maintenant des articles plus étendus et je voudrais y insérer une grande partie de votre livre, notamment toute la première partie. Elle paraitrait chapitre par chapitre, de semaine en semaine. Cela donnerait immédiatement en France à votre ouvrage une publicité qu’un livre de science n’atteint presque jamais même après longues anneés.— En outre, immédiatement après la publication dans la Revue, votre ouvrage paraitrait tout entier, comme volume à part, dans une collection d’ouvrages scientifiques qui se rattache à la Revue et où paraitront les travaux trop étendus pour figurer integralement dans nos colonnes. Cette collection doit dejà comprendre plusieurs ouvrages anglais de Stuart Mill,5 Herbert Spencer, etc.—

Je crois que la combinaison que je vous propose serait extrêmement favorable à la propagation de vos idées en France, où notre Revue à elle seule, compte plus de lecteurs que tous les autres periodiques scientifiques réunis. Si vous voulez bien l’accepter, j’ecrirai immediatement à Mr Murray6 pour les clichés des figures, que je suppose lui appartenir, et je ferai commencer la traduction aussitot que j’aurais reçu l’exemplaire de la deuxième edition que vous voulez bien m’envoyer.7 Le premier chapitre pourrait paraitre dans la Revue vers le 15 ou le 20 avril et l’ouvrage paraitrait comme volume à part vers le 1er septembre.8

Croyez moi, cher monsieur, | votre bien devoué | Em Alglave

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix I.
The journal was originally called Revue des cours scientifiques. The words ‘des cours’ (in the sense of ‘course of lectures’) were dropped from the title of the periodical, but ‘Tribune’ was not added. The title became Revue scientifique de la France et de l’étranger.
CD evidently later sent Alglave a copy of Descent (see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix IV).
John Stuart Mill.
John Murray was CD’s publisher.
Alglave refers to the second printing of Descent. No letter from CD to Alglave on the subject has been found.
Publication of the journal resumed in July 1871 (see n. 3, above). CD evidently agreed to have two excerpts from the French translation of Descent (Moulinié trans. 1872) appear in Revue scientifique de la France et de l’étranger in the issues for 12 August and 16 September 1871 (pp. 147–57 and 266–76).

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 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.

Translation

From Emile Alglave1   17 March 1871

17 March 1871

My dear Sir

Not only will our Revue be coming out again immediately on a regular basis, but, unlike the other scientific periodicals of Paris, it was never even completely suspended during the siege; we have brought out 9 issues since the start of October.2 The greater our misfortunes were, the more necessary it is to get right back to work and attempt to put right the shortcomings that have ruined us. It is beginning to be understood everywhere that we were defeated by the science of the Germans far more than by their courage, and in order to pick ourselves back up again it will be necessary, above all, to pick up our scientific studies once more and extend them.

So we are going to increase our format by one half, starting on the 1st of April next, and to address the relations between the sciences and politics or political economy somewhat more than before. Our title, which used to refer to lectures alone, was becoming decidedly too narrow, and, starting in a fortnight with the second series of our publication, we shall be adopting the title of Tribune scientifique, though without abandoning the one by which we are already known.3

This leads me to speak again of your new book. I have just been lent a copy from which I have been able to obtain a general notion of its extent and divisions; as for the content, I knew its great value beforehand.4 The extension of our format now allows me to publish more extended articles and I should like to include a large part of your book, notably the whole first part. It would appear a chapter a week. This would immediately give your work the publicity in France which scientific books hardly ever achieve even after many years.— In addition, immediately after its publication in the Revue, your work would appear in its entirety as a separate volume, in a collection of scientific works associated with the Revue, for publishing works too extensive to figure in their entirety in our columns. This collection is already to include several English works by Stuart Mill,5 Herbert Spencer, etc.—

I believe that the combination I am proposing would be extremely favourable to the propagation of your ideas in France, where our Revue on its own numbers more readers than all the other scientific periodicals put together. If you are so good as to accept, I shall immediately write to Mr Murray6 for stereotypes of the figures, which I assume belong to him, and I shall have the translation begun as soon as I receive the copy of the second edition which you are so kindly sending me.7 The first chapter could appear in the Revue around the 15 or 20 of April and the work would appear as a separate volume around the 1st of September.8

Believe me, my dear Sir, | yours very truly | Em Alglave

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. QQQQ.
The journal was originally called Revue des cours scientifiques. The words ‘des cours’ (in the sense of ‘course of lectures’) were dropped from the title of the periodical, but ‘Tribune’ was not added. The title became Revue scientifique de la France et de l’étranger.
CD evidently later sent Alglave a copy of Descent (see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix IV).
John Stuart Mill.
John Murray was CD’s publisher.
Alglave refers to the second printing of Descent. No letter from CD to Alglave on the subject has been found.
Publication of the journal resumed in July 1871 (see n. 3, above). CD evidently agreed to have two excerpts from the French translation of Descent (Moulinié trans. 1872) appear in Revue scientifique de la France et de l’étranger in the issues for 12 August and 16 September 1871 (pp. 147–57 and 266–76).

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 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.

Summary

Comments on continued appearance of Revue [des cours scientifiques] despite German siege. Plans enlarged format to include politics and political economy. Repeats request to publish first part of Descent, chapter by chapter, to be followed by publication of the whole.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-7592
From
Émile Alglave
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Paris
Source of text
DAR 159: 37
Physical description
4pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7592,” accessed on 12 December 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-7592.xml

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

letter