skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Haeckel   21 November [1864]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 21st

Dear Sir

I write merely two or three lines to say how pleased I am that you would like to have my Book on the Balanidæ,2 which I despatched about a fortnight since by Messrs Williams & Norgate.3 I thank you for your most kind letter of Oct. 26th, with its most interesting news on the opinions of Leuckart, Schulze, Braun & on the expected work of Gegenbaur.4 I am glad to hear that you are making progress with your own general work.—5

Fritz Müller sent me his book,6 but he writes such difficult German that I can hardly read a word of it; but I have employed a person to translate it for me.7

I thank you very sincerely for your paper on Medusæ & your Speech on the modification of Species;8 I have not yet had time & strength to read either, but assuredly I will before very long.—

With cordial good wishes | My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October 1864.
Haeckel had accepted CD’s offer to send his book on the family of acorn barnacles, the Balanidae (Living Cirripedia (1854)). See letter to Ernst Haeckel, [after 10] August – 8 October [1864], and letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October 1864.
Williams & Norgate were London booksellers and publishers who specialised in foreign scientific literature (Modern English biography).
CD refers to Rudolf Leuckart, Max Johann Sigismund Schultze, Alexander Carl Heinrich Braun, and Carl Gegenbaur. See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October 1864 and nn. 5 and 6.
Haeckel 1866. See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October 1864 and n. 8.
F. Müller 1864. See letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October 1864 and n. 11.
CD probably refers to Camilla Ludwig, a governess at Down House between 1860 and 1863. She had previously been employed by CD to translate from the German (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 5 [October 1860] and n. 12). Under the heading ‘Science’, CD’s Classed account book (Down House MS) records a payment of £5 11s. 6d. on 10 June 1865 to ‘Miss Ludwig’ for translation. CD had the translation of F. Müller 1864 read to him in the late spring and summer of 1865 (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to Fritz Müller, 10 August [1865], and Mayer 1999). CD later helped to arrange for an English translation to be published by John Murray in 1869 (see letter to Hermann Müller, 23 February [1868] (Calendar no. 5919)). This translation was made by the naturalist William Sweetland Dallas (Dallas trans. 1869); CD’s annotated copy is in Cambridge University Library (see Marginalia 1: 609).
CD refers to Haeckel 1864b and 1863 (see letter to Ernst Haeckel, 9 March 1864, and nn. 2 and 3, and letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 [July 1864] and n. 15). Annotated copies of these papers are in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


Sends Living Cirripedia [vol. 2].

Has employed translator for Fritz Müller’s book [Für Darwin (1864)].

Thanks for paper and speech.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Sent from
Source of text
Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A–Abt. 1: 1–52/6)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4676,” accessed on 20 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12