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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Gustavus Fritsche   23 October 1875


23 October | 1875

My dear Sir

I beg very much your pardon that I did not answer to your letter till now, but I was in Warsaw with my poor mother, who was very dangerously ill—1 Now as she is better and I returned to my usual occupations, I must first of all thank you for your kind letter from 21 Sept. I have written to some publishers in Warsaw. Some of them are disposed to publish the work about the Variation under Domestication but they require an exact notice: how large the work will be, how many woodcuts it will contain, if I could procure the woodcuts from London etc. I will be very much obliged to you Sir if you had the kindness to send the promised copy (perhaps the first Volume, as soon as it will be published) to my booksellers: Mers. Gierth and Werner Booksellers in Kattowitz Prussia— but you must write on the book that it is destined for me—2 The copy will be for me a dear remembrance for your sake.

I have translated your description of Terra del Fueggo and some other chapters of your Voyage round the world and insert it in one of our weekly papers.3

After my arrival from England the editor of an illustrated paper from Warsaw begged me to give him the photograph of the house you inhabit, because he wished to insert a picture of it in his paper. I did not possess it and I would not trouble you with such a trifle, but now as the opportunity presents itself, I dare beg you, Sir, to send me it with the book.

I enjoyed my visit to England very much, but I was obliged to return to my country very soon after my visit in Down, because I had a letter that my wife was not quite well.4

Mr. Maslowski begs me to inform you that the Polish translation of the Descent of Man is finished and the work will appear in the next month.5

Believe me, dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Dr. Gustavus Fritsche

P.S. Be good enough, dear Sir to satisfy my curiosity and let me know: if Sir John Lubbock who inhabits the pretty house in your neighbourhood is the author of: “Prehistoric times” and “the origin of civilization”6

CD annotations

1.6 they … etc. 1.7] scored blue crayon
1.9 Mers. … me— 1.11] scored blue and red crayon
3.2 because … book. 3.5] scored blue crayon
7.1 P. S. … civilization” 7.3] scored blue crayon
Top of letter: ‘The whole vol to be sent see address [illeg del] in letter’ blue crayon
Margin of first page: ‘1st Vol sent to Dr F & Corrections— but not chosen Title’ blue crayon


CD’s letter has not been found. Fritsche visited CD in February 1875 (see letter to Gustavus Fritsche, 13 February 1875). Fritsche’s mother has not been identified.
Variation 2d ed. was published in the second half of February 1876 (Publishers’ circular, 1 March 1876, p. 168); however, it carried an 1875 publication date. In the event, a translation into Polish by Fritsche was never made. Kattowitz, Prussia, is now Katowice, Poland.
The Polish newspaper in which excerpts from Journal of researches translated by Fritsche had appeared has not been identified. CD discussed Tierra del Fuego in Journal of researches 2d ed., pp. 204–40.
Fritsche’s wife has not been identified.
Ludwik Masłowski’s translation of Descent was published in two volumes, the second of which appeared in 1875 (Masłowski trans. 1874–5).
Lubbock 1865 and Lubbock 1870.


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

Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Journal of researches: Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, RN, from 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

Variation 2d ed.: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1875.


About a Polish edition of Variation.

Letter details

Letter no.
Gustavus Fritsche
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 217
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10221,” accessed on 26 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23