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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   12 December [1872]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Dec 12th

My dear Sir

There is much which I shd like to alter & improve in the Variation; but I have not strength or time; so your Translation must appear with all its sins on its head.—2

I hope that your edit. of the Expression book will soon appear: the first edition here now consists of 9000 copies, which is a wonderful number.3

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 10 December 1872.
A second edition of Carus’s German translation of Variation (Carus trans. 1873) was being prepared for publication (see letter from J. V. Carus, 10 December 1872).
Carus’s German translation of Expression was published in 1872 (Carus trans. 1872b). CD’s publisher, John Murray, had recently decided to print 2000 more copies of Expression (see letter from R. F. Cooke, 6 December 1872).


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. 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.


Has not strength nor time to alter and improve Variation.

First English edition of Expression now at 9000 copies.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8674,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

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