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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Paolo Mantegazza   28 December 1872

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Dec 28 1872

My dear Sir

I thank you cordially for your most kind letter, with its high commendation of my book on Expression.1 I am must own that it has pleased me greatly, as you have already carefully attended to the subject, and as you possess so profound a knowledge of physiology. Your letter has pleased me all the more, as I feel that I am growing old, and I was not at all sure that the work was worth publishing. When I sent you the copy, I was not in the least aware that you had studied the subject; and I sent it simply because I thought that our minds were of a kindred nature, and that whatever interested me, would probably interest you. I have received the pamphlets which you have been so good as to send me,2 and I will soon get my wife to translate them to me.

I accept with gratitude the high honour which you propose to confer upon me by your dedication.3 With respect to the translation of my book, if the possibility had ever occurred to me that you would have been willing to undertake it, I would assuredly have refused every other proposal; but as it is, two Gentlemen have applied to me, and I am pledged to one of them.4

With my best thanks and highest esteem, | Pray believe me, | My dear Sir, | Yours faithfully and obliged, | Charles Darwin

P.S. Since the above was written I have received your very kind gift of your Physiology of Pleasure.5


Mantegazza had asked whether he might dedicate his work on the physiology of pain to CD (see letter from Paolo Mantegazza, 23 December 1872 and n. 9).
Giovanni Canestrini and Francesco Bassani’s Italian translation of Expression was published in 1878.


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Thanks for the letter commending Expression [see 8692]. CD "was not at all sure the work was worth publishing".

Acknowledges receipt of some pamphlets from PM, which his wife will translate.

Regretfully must refuse PM’s offer to translate Expression since it has been promised to another.

Has now received PM’s Physiology of pleasure [Fisiologia del piacere (1870)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Paolo Mantegazza
Sent from
Source of text
University of Toronto, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (MSS gen 30.066)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8696A,” accessed on 29 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20