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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Eugène Desmarest   4 March 18741



I beg leave to thank you for your very obliging letter of the 27th ult., in which you announce to me that the Entomological Society of France has conferred on me the distinguished honour of electing me, one of their Honorary Members.2

I hope that you will express to the Society on my part, my most sincere acknowledgments.

This honour is particularly gratifying to me, as during former years I collected insects with much ardour both in England and South America.

Although not a special student of entomology, I have always felt the keenest interest in the subject; believing that it is admirably filled3 for throwing light on many general problems in Biology.

I have the pleasure, according to your request, of enclosing my photograph; and I have directed Messieurs Williams and Norgate to send the French translations of my Origin of Species, and Descent of Man, to the Society, thinking that these would be the most acceptable.4

I have the honour to remain with high respect, | Sir, your obliged and obedient servant, | Charles Darwin.


The date and address (‘Down Beckenham, Kent’) were given on a French version of this letter that was published together with the English text transcribed above. It is possible, given some of the differences between the two versions, that the English letter was translated from the French, rather than being CD’s original text.
Possibly a mistranscription of or misprint for ‘fitted’.
Williams & Norgate, booksellers and publishers, specialised in foreign scientific literature; CD used the company to send his books to addresses outside Britain (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 20, letter to John Murray, 30 August [1872]). CD sent the society copies of Moulinié trans. 1873 and Moulinié trans. 1873–4, the second volume of which had been published at the end of January (see Journal géneral de l’imprimerie et de la librarie, 31 January 1874, p. 51).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Thanks for letter announcing election to honorary member of the Entomological Society of France. Has always felt entomology admirable for throwing light on general problems in biology.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Eugène Desmarest
Sent from
Source of text
Annales de la Société entomologique de France 5th ser. 4 (1874): xlvi

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9334F,” accessed on 23 January 2021,

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