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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C.-F. Reinwald   17 September 1872

Paris. Rue des Saints Pères 15

Sept. 17th. 1872

Dear Sir

I suppose my letter from Geneva has duely reached you.1

Arriving lately in that place I found M. Moulinié2 very ill. His mental faculties being much weakened, all literary work or trouble had already been forbidden by his doctors and a longer stage at Aix les Bains, or Annecy in Savoy being lately decided,3 I arrived in time to secure all materials for the achievement of the translation of the Descent of man, and Origin of Species. Both the translations were already composed in the printing office some months ago, with the sole exception of the Indexes; my exertion therefore is to get these Indexes ready and to publish the books, which no doubt will be done on the beginning of October.4

I found at Mr Moulinié’s your kind letter of Aug. 18th., concerning your new book “On the Expression of the Emotions.’5 We assume with pleasure the care of having this work translated into french, and to publish it here in Paris; for which purpose we want however another translator, as Mr. Moulinié is now, and for the next time quite out of question.

If you have a preference for one of our french translators, we should be happy to try to conclude with him for the literary part of the enterprize; if not, we should be able to propose another translator.6

As for the material part of the work, we write to M. Murray that we accept his proposal for the casts of the Wood-cuts, but that for the Heliotype Plates we wish to be not engaged for 1000 copies at once. We propose to get immediately 500 copies and to be authorized to require other 500 copies as soon as the first number will be sold.— We do not know, whether there will be necessity of printing a french text on the Plates and would be much obliged, if your editor could communicate us one of the said Heliotype Plates in order to form an opinion on the subject7

We write to day to Mr Murray and should be much obliged if he would accept our proposal concerning the said plates, enabling us thus to publish promptly also this new and important work of your’s.

Waiting for your kind reply, we remain | Dear Sir | your’s most obediently | C Reinwald & Co

To Ch. Darwin Esq. Down, Kent


Jean Jacques Moulinié.
Aix-les-Bains is a small town in south-eastern France, famous for its hot sulphur springs. Annecy is a town in the same region on the northern tip of Lac d’Annecy between Geneva and Chambéry.
Reinwald refers to Moulinié’s French translation of Descent (Moulinié trans. 1872) and of the sixth edition of Origin (Moulinié trans. 1873). See letter from C. F. Reinwald, 13 September 1872 and n. 3.
CD’s letter has not been found.
Expression was translated into French by Samuel Pozzi and René Benoît (Pozzi and Benoît trans. 1874).
Reinwald refers to CD’s publisher, John Murray. The photographic plates were printed by the Heliotype Company and carried no text.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

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.


J. J. Moulinié’s mental faculties are much weakened.

Fortunately Descent and Origin are completely translated except the indexes.

A new translator will be needed for Expression.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 176: 95
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8521,” accessed on 5 March 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20