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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C. V. Naudin1   6 December 1864

Paris, le 6 décembre 1864 A Monsieur Ch. Darwin, membre de la Soc. royale &c. Monsieur,

Je viens de lire dans un journal que je crois bien informé, que la Societé royale vous a décerné récemment la grande médaille de Copley, pour vos incomparables travaux en philosophie naturelle.2 Permettez-moi de vous en adresser mes plus sincères félicitations d’ajouter que la Societé royal〈e〉 〈    〉 à elle-même beaucoup 〈one or two words missing〉 vous donnant 〈several words missing

Si vous vous 〈several words missing〉 encore, 〈several words missing〉 photo 〈several words missing〉 portrait d’un de vos plus sincères admirateurs.3 Je serais fier que vous voulussiez bien la classer dans votre album des botanistes contemporaines,4 parmi lesquels je tiendrai la place la plus infime.

J’ai publié récemment, dans les Comptes-rendus de l’Académie des Sciences, un court mémoire sur du cas de variabilité provoqués par le croisement, qui me paraissent assez remarquables.5 Peut-être la lecture en aura-t-elle quelque intérêt pour vous. Je regrette de n’avoir pas d’exemplaires de ce Mémoire à ma disposition, mais je pense qu’il vous fera facile de vous procurer le No du Comptes-rendus— C’est celui du 21 Novembredernier

〈    〉 conti〈nuer〉 mes recherches expé 〈rimentales〉 〈three or four words missing〉 mes travaux cucurbi〈  〉6three or four words missing〉 derniers, malheureusement, 〈several words missing〉 Pénélope; il 〈several words missing〉 refaire;7 aussi marchent-ils avec une lenteur plus que Sage.

Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, avec mes meilleurs compliments, l’expression de mes sentiments les plus distingués

Votre bien dévoué Serviteur, | Ch. Naudin | Mbre de l’Institut.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix I.
The award of the Copley Medal to CD was announced at the 30 November meeting of the Royal Society of London (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 13 (1864): 505). The journal notice has not been identified.
Naudin evidently refers to a photograph of himself that he enclosed with the letter (see letter to C. V. Naudin, 8 December [1864]). The photograph has not been found.
No such album has been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL or at Down House.
Naudin 1864. The paper describes variations that resulted from crossing experiments in species of Datura, Mirabilis, Linaria, and Petunia. An annotated copy of Naudin 1864 is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. From the 1850s, Naudin had been interested in the significance of hybridisation for species formation, and had carried out extensive crossing experiments in the botanic garden of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris (Olby 1985, pp. 47–8, and Rheinberger 1983, p. 201). Naudin’s work on hybridisation is cited widely in Variation (see, for example, 1: 357–60 and 2: 36–7, 48). CD was critical, however, of some aspects of Naudin’s crossing experiments (see Correspondence vol. 10, letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 [June 1862] and n. 11, and letter to Asa Gray, 1 July [1862], and this volume, letters to J. D. Hooker, 22 [May 1864] and 13 September [1864] and nn. 3 and 4). See also Geison 1969, pp. 404–11, and J. Harvey 1997b.
In Variation 1: 357–60, CD cited Naudin’s early work on Cucurbitaceae (Naudin 1856 and 1859a) for its emphasis on the mutability and variability of characters. CD’s notes on Naudin 1856 are in DAR 205.7: 141. Naudin’s major work on Cucurbitaceae was not published in full until 1865 (Naudin 1865; see also Correspondence vol. 10, letter from C. V. Naudin, 26 June 1862 and n. 4). CD’s annotated copy of Naudin 1865 is in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 638–9).
The French expression ‘un travail de Pénélope’, or ‘work done over and over again’, derives from Homer’s Odyssey 19: 152–203.

Bibliography

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

Geison, Gerald L. 1969. Darwin and heredity: the evolution of his hypothesis of pangenesis. Journal of the History of Medicine 24: 375–411.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Naudin, Charles Victor. 1864. De l’hybridité considérée comme cause de variabilité dans les végétaux. Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des Sciences 59: 837–45.

Olby, Robert. 1985. Origins of Mendelism. 2d edition. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 1983. Naudin, Darwin, Nägeli: Bemerkungen zu den Vererbungsvorstellungen des 19. Jahrhunderts. Medizinhistorisches Journal 18: 198–212.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Translation

From C. V. Naudin1   6 December 1864

I have just read in a journal that I believe to be well informed, that the Royal Society has recently awarded you the prestigious Copley Medal for your incomparable works on natural philosophy. Permit me to send you my most sincere congratulations [and] to add that the Royal Society 〈    〉 for itself a great deal 〈of honour〉 in presenting you 〈    〉.

If you 〈    〉 still, 〈    〉 photograph 〈    〉 portrait of one of your most sincere admirers. I would be proud if you would place it in your album of contemporary botanists, among whom I will occupy the most lowly place.

I have recently published in the Comptes-rendus de l’Académie des Sciences a short communication on some cases of variability caused by crossing, which seem to me quite remarkable. Perhaps you would be interested in reading it. I regret that I have no copies of this paper at my disposal, but I think that it will be easy for you to obtain the issue of the Comptes-rendus— it is the one of 21 November last. 〈    〉 to continue—my experimental research 〈    〉 my work [on] Cucurbitaceae 〈    〉 last, unfortunately, 〈like〉 Penelope’s 〈web, it is necessary〉 to redo; and so they proceed more slowly than is wise. Please accept, Sir, with my compliments, the expression of my greatest esteem. Your very devoted servant, | Ch. Naudin. | Member of the Institute.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see [Volume 12] p. 453.

Bibliography

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

Geison, Gerald L. 1969. Darwin and heredity: the evolution of his hypothesis of pangenesis. Journal of the History of Medicine 24: 375–411.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Naudin, Charles Victor. 1864. De l’hybridité considérée comme cause de variabilité dans les végétaux. Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des Sciences 59: 837–45.

Olby, Robert. 1985. Origins of Mendelism. 2d edition. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 1983. Naudin, Darwin, Nägeli: Bemerkungen zu den Vererbungsvorstellungen des 19. Jahrhunderts. Medizinhistorisches Journal 18: 198–212.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Summary

Congratulates CD on the Copley Medal.

Directs CD to his short memoir on crossing ["De l’hybridité", C. R. Hebd. Acad. Sci. 59 (1864): 837–45].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-4703
From
Charles Victor Naudin
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Mus. Hist. Nat. Cult., Paris
Source of text
DAR 172: 7
Physical description
3pp (French) damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4703,” accessed on 9 April 2020, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-4703.xml

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

letter