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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. V. Carus   19 January 1874


Jan 19, 1874

My dear Sir,

The publisher wants me to prepare the new edition of the Descent of Man as soon as possible.1 May I ask you, if I may be able to have proofs of your new edition or if it will be better to wait, till you are ready? There is one difficulty for me personally. You know I am going again to Edinburgh for the summer session, and shall leave Leipzig about the middle of April.2 If I cannot revise the translation with your corrections before I go there is very little chance for my doing it in Edinburgh, as my time is taken up there with pretty hard work almost entirely. I should therefore be very much obliged to you if you would kindly let me know, when I may be able to begin.

My health is pretty good; for, although I did not succeed to become quite free of cold, (bronchia and stomach,) yet I came through the first part of the winter better than I had been afraid. Edinburgh has done me an immense deal of good. The middle lobe of my right lung was obliterated, it became free and permeable for air again in Edinburgh So I hope that the second summer will turn out to be as beneficient as the first.

I am now very hard at work to finish my Handbook of Zoology,3 which will be done in a few weeks.

I am | Ever yours truly | J. Victor Carus


The firm of E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung had already published two German editions of Descent (Carus trans. 1871 and Carus trans. 1871–2). The latter had been translated from later printings of the first English edition. CD was preparing the second English edition, which was published in November 1874 (letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874). The third German edition, based on the second English edition, was published in 1875 (Carus trans. 1875a).
Carus gave lectures at the University of Edinburgh in the summers of 1873 and 1874, replacing Charles Wyville Thomson, who served on board the oceanographic survey ship HMS Challenger as head of the civilian scientists (ODNB).
Carus refers to the final part of the first volume of Handbuch der Zoologie (Carus and Gerstaecker 1863–75). The second volume had been published in 1863 and the first (written by Carus alone) appeared in parts between 1868 and 1875.


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

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


A new German edition of Descent is planned. Would like to work on proofs before leaving for lectures at Edinburgh.

Letter details

Letter no.
Julius Victor Carus
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161: 92
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9248,” accessed on 15 April 2021,

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