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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emile Alglave1   27 March 1874

Revue | politique et littéraire | revue | scientifique | 17, rue de l’Ecole de Médecine | Paris,

le 27 mars 1874

Cher monsieur

Les bruits dont vous me parlez sont malheureusement trop vrais en ce qui concerne la persécution commencée contre moi.2 Le gouvernement de Mr de Broglie3 menace de m’enlever definitivement ma place de professeur à la faculté de droit de Douai si je ne renonce pas d’une manière publique à tout rapport avec la Revue ou si je ne la dirige pas dans un sens qui lui paraisse meilleur. Le ministre de l’instruction publique4 m’a mandé pour me signifier cette décision et m’en donner les motifs. J’espère gagner quelques semaines encore. Mais, dans tous les cas, je n’ai aucune intention d’abandonner nos deux revues ni de les diriger dans un esprit different de celui que je continue à croire bon malgré les désagréments qu’il m’attire.5

D’ailleurs, il se passe maintenant en France bien des choses singulières, et vous trouverez dans la Revue scientifique de demain quelques details sur un fait assez etrange qui vient de se produire à Paris.6

J’ai recu votre livre sur les orchidées,7 et vous remercie de votre obligeance

Croyez moi votre devoué | Em Alglave

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
CD probably read in Nature, 12 March 1874, pp. 372–3, that Alglave had been suspended from his duties as editor of the Revue scientifique and as professor of law at Douai, and warned that he must give up one of these positions. It was supposed that the suspension was due to the manner in which scientific facts and conclusions were presented in the Revue scientifique.
The French prime minister, Albert de Broglie, had formed a right-wing cabinet in May 1873; his government fell from power in May 1874.
Oscar Bardi de Fourtou was the minister of public instruction and culture. He reintroduced censorship, and dismissed several liberal professors. (DBF.)
Alglave edited both the Revue scientifique and the Revue politique et littéraire, and was well known for his liberal views.
Alglave probably refers to the cancellation of clinical lectures on mental illness at the Sainte-Anne asylum on the grounds that the treatment and care of patients should not depend on their sacrificing their privacy for the sake of indiscreet scientific curiosity. See ‘La suspension des cours cliniques de maladies mentales’, Revue scientifique de la France et de l’étranger, 28 March 1874, pp. 909–10.
Alglave probably received a copy of the French translation of Orchids (Rérolle trans. 1870).

Bibliography

DBF: Dictionnaire de biographie Française. Under the direction of J. Balteau et al. 20 vols. and 8 fascicles of vol. 21 (A–Levaditi) to date. Paris: Librairie Letouzey & Ané. 1933–.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Translation

From Emile Alglave1   27 March 1874

Revue | politique et littéraire | revue | scientifique | 17, rue de l’Ecole de Médecine | Paris,

27 March 1874

Dear sir

The rumours of which you speak are, sadly, only too true as regards the persecution that has been undertaken against me.2 Mr de Broglie’s government3 is threatening to strip me of my professorial post at the Douai law faculty permanently if I do not make a public renunciation of any relationship with the Revue or if I do not direct it in a way they consider better. The minister of public instruction4 has warned me, so as to serve me with the notice of that decision and to give me the reasons for it. I hope to hold out for some weeks yet. But in any case, I have no intention of abandoning our two reviews, nor of directing them in a different spirit from that which I continue to believe is right, in spite of the trouble it brings upon me.5

Indeed, many odd things are going on in France at the moment, and in tomorrow’s Revue scientifique you will find some details of a rather strange event which has just occurred at Paris.6

I have received your book on orchids,7 and I thank you for your obligingness

Yours very truly | Em Alglave

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter its original French, see p. QQQQ.
CD probably read in Nature, 12 March 1874, pp. 372–3, that Alglave had been suspended from his duties as editor of the Revue scientifique and as professor of law at Douai, and warned that he must give up one of these positions. It was supposed that the suspension was due to the manner in which scientific facts and conclusions were presented in the Revue scientifique.
The French prime minister, Albert de Broglie, had formed a right-wing cabinet in May 1873; his government fell from power in May 1874.
Oscar Bardi de Fourtou was the minister of public instruction and culture. He reintroduced censorship, and dismissed several liberal professors. (DBF.)
Alglave edited both the Revue scientifique and the Revue politique et littéraire, and was well known for his liberal views.
Alglave probably refers to the cancellation of clinical lectures on mental illness at the Sainte-Anne asylum on the grounds that the treatment and care of patients should not depend on their sacrificing their privacy for the sake of indiscreet scientific curiosity. See ‘La suspension des cours cliniques de maladies mentales’, Revue scientifique de la France et de l’étranger, 28 March 1874, pp. 909–10.
Alglave probably received a copy of the French translation of Orchids (Rérolle trans. 1870).

Bibliography

DBF: Dictionnaire de biographie Française. Under the direction of J. Balteau et al. 20 vols. and 8 fascicles of vol. 21 (A–Levaditi) to date. Paris: Librairie Letouzey & Ané. 1933–.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Summary

On EA’s persecution by new government for liberal–republican position of his Revues; threat to remove him from Faculté de Droit, unless he renounces relations with Revues or changes their politics.

Has reviewed CD’s Orchids.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-9375
From
Émile Alglave
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Paris
Source of text
DAR 159: 39
Physical description
2pp (French)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9375,” accessed on 6 December 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-9375.xml

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

letter