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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Hermanus Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen   28 February 1874

The Hague

28 Feb. 1874

Dear Sir!

It was a great pleasure for Mr Ykema and for me to see in your letter, that you think that the Dutch translation of your Expression book is by far the most beautiful edition, that has been anywhere published.1 It is also a great pleasure for me to see that you will have translated by one of your sons my notes on that Expression book (you will find some at the end of every chapter and not only at the end).2 But I wrote also some notes on your book on the Descent of Man, and you will find them in that book also at the end of every chapter. Now it is my opinion, that it will be more interesting to translate into English my notes on the first edition of your Descent, than to translate the notes on your Expression-book. Perhaps the best would be to translate both (but I confess that some of the notes are not very interesting, but some others perhaps are so a little). If your son will be so very kind to send me his translation I will see, whether the translation is correct, if you allow me to do so. This is not, because I doubt that the translation will be correct, but as a born Dutchman I understand, as I suppose, still better the Dutch as your son, and your son, as a born Englishman much better English as I, and so if he translates the Dutch into English and if I see, whether the translation is correct, it will be good English, because an Englishman translated it, and we will be sure also that the translation says the same as the Dutch original, because a Dutchman saw, whether it was corresponding with the Dutch original.

In my translation of the Descent you will find also some theses on your theory and on the descent of man, made by Professor Harting in Utrecht (who allowed me to publish them in my translation) and who are certainly worth translation.3

I remain | dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | H Hartogh Heys van Zouteveen

P.S. Letters must be addressed:

Dr. H. Hartogh Heys van Zouteveen





See letter to Hermanus Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen, 18 February 1874. Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen translated Expression into Dutch (Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen trans. 1873); Johan IJkema was his publisher.
The son was probably George Howard Darwin, who was a good linguist (ODNB).
There is a copy of Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen trans. 1871–2 in the Darwin Library–CUL, although many of the pages are uncut. CD cited Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen’s notes to his translation in Descent 2d ed., p. 243 n. 49, 273 n. 24, 347 n. 41, 502 n. 7 (the last is a reference to Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen quoting Pieter Harting).


Descent 2d ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: John Murray. 1874.

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

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


CD’s son is considering translating into English HHHvZ’s notes in Dutch edition of Expression; HHHvZ feels his notes to Descent would be of more interest.

Letter details

Letter no.
Hermanus Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
The Hague
Source of text
DAR 184: 17
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9323,” accessed on 8 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22