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Darwin Correspondence Project

Origin: the lost changes for the second German edition


Heinrich Georg Bronn
Heinrich Georg Bronn
CC BY-SA 4.0
Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

In March 1862, Heinrich Georg Bronn wrote to Darwin stating his intention to prepare a second German edition of Origin (Bronn trans. 1863); he asked whether a new English edition containing corrections and additions was imminent, or whether Darwin would like to make any such changes to the existing German edition (see letter from H. G. Bronn, [before 11 March 1862]). Since the publication of the first German edition, a third English edition had appeared, published in April 1861, containing, as Darwin told Bronn, ‘a considerable number of small corrections & a few of importance’ (see letter to H. G. Bronn, 11 March [1862]). Darwin had sent Bronn some of these alterations in manuscript for inclusion in the first German edition, but he considered it important that the remainder be included in the new edition; in his letter to Bronn of 25 April [1862], he mentioned that he was sending a set of sheets of the third English edition, marked with the alterations from the second edition. In addition, Darwin referred to ‘a few new M.S. additions & corrections’, which he was he sending with the purpose of ‘enlarging the parts which have been most criticised’.  

The original manuscript of these additions and corrections has not been found, although they were returned to Darwin for possible use in a new American edition of Origin (see letter from E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 11 July 1862). (No American edition incorporating further alterations was published until 1870 (see Freeman 1977, pp. 85–6).) However, we have compiled a list of the changes that are incorporated in the second German edition of Origin, but that do not occur in the third English edition: these changes should correspond to the additional alterations sent by Darwin to Bronn. Many of these additions and corrections were noted in pencil by Darwin in his copy of the third English edition, which is now at Cambridge University Library; most of them were also ultimately incorporated in the fourth English edition, which appeared in 1866.  

The changes and additions have been translated into English, and are keyed to the third English edition by page, paragraph, and line number.



Page xiv, par. 1, line 1, insert before ‘Geoffroy’: 1   


Page xiv, n., lines 2–5, delete ‘It is curious  . . .  in 1794’.  

Page xiv, n., line 7, insert after ‘long afterwards.’: 3  

               He has pointedly remarked (Goethe als Naturforscher, von Dr. Karl Meding, s. 34) that the future question for naturalists will be how, for instance, cattle got their horns, and not for what they are used.   

Page xiv, n., line 10, delete ‘(as we shall immediately see)’.   

Page xiv, n., line 11, delete ‘in the years 1794–5’.   

Page xviii, par. 3, line 9, insert after ‘continued reproduction.’’: 4   

               A well-known French botanist, M. Lecoq, writes in 1854 (‘Etudes sur Géograph. Bot.,’ tom. I. p. 250), ‘On voit que nos recherches sur la fixité ou la variation de l’espèce, nous conduisent directement aux idées émises par deux hommes justement célèbres, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire et Goethe.’ Some other passages scattered through M. Lecoq’s large work, make it a little doubtful how far he extends his views on the modification of species.   

Page xix, par. 1, line 2, insert after ‘and clearness.’: 5   

               Von Baer, towards whom all zoologists feel so profound a respect, expressed about the year 1859 (see Prof. Rudolph Wagner, ‘Zoologisch-Anthropologische Untersuchungen,’ 1861, s.51) his conviction, chiefly grounded on the laws of geographical distribution, that forms now perfectly distinct have descended from a single parent-form.   

Page xix, par. 4, line 2, insert after ‘1860’: 6   

               and the third edition in April 1861.   

Page 12, par. 1, line 18, substitute for ‘animals’: 7  


Page 18, par. 2, line 15, insert after ‘England’: 8  

               and Germany   

Page 19, par. 1, line 8, insert after ‘parent.’: 9 

               This conclusion, as well as the specific distinction between the humped and common cattle, may indeed be looked at as almost established by the recent admirable researches of Professor Rütimeyer.   

Page 19, par. 1, line 16, insert after ‘(Gallus bankiva)’: 10   

               Having kept nearly all the English kinds alive, having bred and crossed them, and examined their skeletons, I have come to a similar conclusion, \emm the grounds of which will be given in a future work.   

Page 46, par. 2, lines 22–4, substitute for ‘but then  . . .  kinds of flowers.’: 11   

               In just some of these cases it seems that the generation of two different flowers takes place gradually. This is indicated by the intermediate forms between the two main kinds of flowers in certain campanula and violet species.   

Page 52, par. 1, line 12, insert after ‘varieties.’: 12  

               But I have to state that according to some more recent observations of mine on the sexual relations of the long- and short styled kinds of this genus, Primula vulgaris and Primula veris seem to be two distinct species. This is corroborated by experiments which are still in progress.   

Page 80, par. 1, line 4, insert after ‘other cases.’: 13   

               In Australia, the imported hive-bee is rapidly exterminating the small, stingless native bee.   

Page 93, par. 1, line 20, insert after ‘other males.’: 14  

               The males of certain hymenopterous insects have been frequently seen by that inimitable observer M. Fabre, fighting for a particular female, who sits by an apparently unconcerned beholder of the struggle, and then retires with the conqueror. By the way,   

Page 99, par. 2, line 26, to page 100, par. 1, line 5, substitute for ‘The difference  . . .  hive-bees.’: 15  

               It is certain that the hive-bee sucks the nectar out, because I have long since observed many of these bees (although only possible in the autumn) suck the nectar through holes in the base of the corolla which I believe the small species of humble-bee have bitten.   

Page 151, par. 1, line 12, insert after ‘appreciable by us.’: 16  

               In a far-fetched sense, however, the conditions of life may be said, not only to cause variability, but likewise to include natural selection; for it depends on the nature of the conditions whether this or that variety shall be preserved. But we see in selection by man, that these two elements of change are essentially distinct; the conditions under domestication causing the variability, and the will of man, acting either consciously or unconsciously, accumulating the variations in certain definite directions.   

Page 162, par. 2, lines 6–7, insert after ‘deafness in’: 17  

               some white   

Page 171, par. 1, lines 6–7, insert after ‘wattle of’: 18 


Page 179, par. 1, line 4, insert after ‘barb-pigeon’: 19   

               (p. 32)   

Page 182, par. 2, line 15, insert after ‘full-grown animal.’: 20   

               I have myself recently bred a foal from a bay mare (offspring of a Turcoman horse and a Flemish mare) by a bay English race-horse; this foal when a week old was marked on its hinder quarters and on its forehead with numerous, very narrow, dark zebra-like bars, and its legs were feebly striped; all the stripes soon disappeared completely.   

Page 198, par. 1, line 7, delete ‘and I could have given no answer’. 21  

Page 222, par. 1, line 3, substitute for ‘on high authority’: 22 

               on the high authority of Joh. Müller   

Page 222, par. 1, line 4, insert after ‘organ, the’: 23  


Page 235, par. 1, lines 27–8, substitute for ‘do not suppose that domestic rabbits have ever’:24  

               can hardly suppose that domestic rabbits have   

Page 235, par. 1, line 32, insert after ‘confinement.’: 25  

               Yet, as the French translator of this book has noted, it is common to keep the tamest rabbits which cause least trouble, so that breeding plays a role here too.   

Page 236, par. 1, line 21, substitute for ‘in the same way  . . .  under a hen.’: 26  

               for I am informed by Captain Hutton that the young chickens of the parent-stock, the Gallus bankiva, when reared in India under a hen, are at first excessively wild. So it is with young pheasants reared in England under a hen.   

Page 264, par. 1, lines 8–9, substitute for ‘and not’: 27 

               whilst man works   

Page 264, par. 1, lines 10-16, delete ‘, a perfect  . . .  natural selection’.28 

Page 269, par. 1, line 26, substitute for ‘such good reason’: 29  

               some reason   

Page 275, par. 2, line 5, delete ‘and with P. versicolor’. 30   

Page 275, par. 2, line 6, substitute for ‘three’: 31   

               two closely related species of   

Page 275, par. 2, line 7, insert after ‘common,’: 32  


Page 275, par. 2, lines 7–8, substitute for ‘and the Japan’: 33

               along with the Japanese P. versicolor   

Page 275, par. 2, line 9, insert after ‘England.’: 34  

               From the experiments lately made on a large scale in France, it seems that two such distinct species as the hare and rabbit, when they can be got to breed together, produce offspring almost perfectly fertile.   

Page 276, par. 2, lines 18–21, substitute for ‘again there . . .  distinct species.’:35 

               again I have lately acquired decisive evidence that the crossed offspring from the Indian humped and common cattle are \ita inter se  perfectly fertile; and from the observations by Rütimeyer on their important osteological differences, these two forms must be regarded as good and distinct species - as good as any in the world.   

Page 310, par. 1, line 2, insert after ‘preserved.’:36

               Some of the many kinds of animals which live on the beach between high and low water mark seem to be rarely preserved.   

Page 334, par. 3, line 3, substitute for ‘not one oceanic island’: 37  

               not one truly oceanic island (with the exception of New Zealand, Svalbard, and the adjacent Bear Island, if these can be called truly oceanic islands)   

Page 363, par. 3, line 15, insert after ‘life.’: 38   

               It is no valid objection to my views, although we know too little of the condition of life to offer any explanation, that certain Brachiopods have remained unaltered from the earliest geological period; the fresh-water molluscs, subjected to less competition than the shells of the great oceans, have remained in nearly the same condition. 

Page 364, par. 1, line 22, insert after ‘geological research.’: 39  

               Bronn has dealt with this topic better and in more depth than any other author.   

Page 400, par. 1, line 28, insert after ‘epoch.’: 40  

               This view has been supported by three referees: Prof. Asa Gray, Dr. Hooker, and Prof. Oliver.   

Page 403, par. 2, lines 15–16, substitute for ‘If one  . . .  evidence’:41 

               From facts lately communicated to me by the Rev. W. B. Clarke, it appears also that there are clear traces   

Page 405, par. 1, line 18, insert after ‘Africa.’: 42

               Dr. Hooker has also lately shown that several of the plants, living on the upper parts of the lofty island of Fernando Po and on the neighbouring Cameroon mountains in the Gulf of Guinea, are closely related to those on the mountains of Abyssinia, and likewise to those of temperate Europe. This is one of the most astonishing facts ever recorded in the distribution of plants.   

Page 407, par. 2, lines 14–15, insert after ‘now concerned.’: 43  

               The whole problem of what will have occurred is excessively complex. The probable existence before the Glacial period of a pleistocene equatorial flora and fauna, fitted for a hotter climate than any now existing, must not be overlooked. This old equatorial flora will have been almost wholly destroyed, and the two pleistocene sub-tropical floras, commingled and reduced in number, will then have formed the equatorial flora. There will also probably have been during the Glacial period great changes in the precise nature of the climate, in the degree of humidity, &c.; and various animals and plants will have migrated in different proportions and at different rates. So that altogether during the Glacial period the inhabitants of the tropics must have been greatly disturbed in all their relations of life.   

Page 407, par. 2, line 26, insert after ‘extent.’:44  

               The chief difficulty is to understand how they can have escaped entire annihilation. It must not be overlooked that, as the cold will have come on very slowly, it is almost certain that many of the inhabitants of the tropics will have become in some degree acclimatised.   

Page 408, par. 1, line 22, substitute for ‘But I do not doubt’: 45   

               We might of course speculate on the land having been formerly higher than at present in various parts of the tropics, where temperate forms apparently have crossed; but as the lines of migration have been so numerous, such speculation would be rash. So I am forced to believe   

Page 408, par. 1, line 23, insert after ‘tropics’: 46 

               especially of India   

Page 409, par. 1, line 1, insert before ‘Thus,’: 47  

               So again, on the island of Fernando Po, Mr. Mann found temperate European forms first beginning to appear at the height of about five thousand feet. On the mountains of Panama, at the height of only two thousand feet, Dr. Seemann found the vegetation like that of Mexico, with forms of the torrid zone harmoniously blended with those of the temperate. So that under certain conditions of climate it is certainly possible that strictly tropical forms might have co-existed for an indefinitely long period mingled with temperate forms.   

 At one time I had hoped to find evidence that the tropics in some part of the world had escaped the chilling effects of the Glacial period, and had afforded a safe refuge for the suffering tropical productions. We cannot look to the peninsula of India for such a refuge, as temperate forms have reached nearly all its isolated mountain-ranges, as well as Ceylon; we cannot look to the Malay archipelago, for on the volcanic cones of Java we see European forms, and on the heights of Borneo temperate Australian productions. If we look to Africa, we find that not only some temperate European forms have passed through Abyssinia along the eastern side of the \hbox continent  to its southern extremity; but we now know that temperate forms have likewise travelled in a transverse direction from the mountains of Abyssinia to Fernando Po, aided perhaps in their march by east and west ranges, which there is some reason to believe traverse the continent. But even granting that some one large tropical region had retained during the Glacial period its full warmth, the supposition would be of no avail, for the tropical forms therein preserved could not have travelled to the other great tropical regions within so short a period as has elapsed since the Glacial epoch. Nor are the tropical productions of the whole world by any means of so uniform a character as to appear to have proceeded from any harbour of refuge.   

 The eastern plains of tropical South America apparently have suffered least from the Glacial period; yet even here there are on the mountains of Brazil a few southern and northern temperate and some Andean forms, which it appears must have crossed the continent from the Cordillera; and some forms on the Silla of Caraccas, which must have migrated from the same great mountain-chain. But Mr. Bates, who has studied with such care the insect-fauna of the Guiano-Amazonian region, has argued with much force against any recent refrigeration in this great region; for he shows that it abounds with highly peculiar Lepidopterous forms, thus apparently contradicting the belief in much recent extinction near the equator. How far his facts can be explained on the supposition of the almost entire annihilation during the Glacial period of a pleistocene equatorial fauna adapted for greater heat than any now prevailing, and the formation of the present equatorial fauna by the commingling of two former subtropical faunas, I will not pretend to say. \looseness1  

Page 410, par. 1, lines 19–25, substitute for ‘Something  . . .  north.’:48  

               The Neilgherrie mountains in India, however, offer a partial exception; for here, as I hear from Dr. Hooker, Australian forms are rapidly sowing themselves and becoming naturalised.   

Page 411, par. 2, line 5, insert after ‘regions.’: 49 

               It is extremely difficult to understand how a vast number of peculiar forms confined to the tropics could have been therein preserved during the coldest part of the Glacial period. The number of forms in Australia, which are related to European temperate forms, but which differ so greatly that it is impossible to believe that they could have been modified since the Glacial period, perhaps indicates some much more ancient cold period, even as far back as the miocene age, in accordance with the recent speculations of certain geologists. I do not pretend to indicate the exact lines and means of migration, or the reason why certain species and not others have migrated; why certain species have been modified and have given rise to new groups of forms, and others have remained unaltered.   

Page 422, par. 1, lines 16-19, substitute for ‘Madeira  . . .  Harcourt.’: 50   

               Almost every year, as I am informed by Mr. E. V. Harcourt, many European and African birds are blown to Madeira; this island is inhabited by 99 kinds, of which one alone is peculiar, though very closely related to a European form; and three or four other species are confined to this island and to the Canaries.   

Page 423, par. 2, line 5, insert after ‘mammals.’: 51   

               Although New Zealand is here spoken of as an oceanic island, it is in some degree doubtful whether it should be so ranked; it is of large size, and is not separated from Australia by a profoundly deep sea: from its geological character and the direction of its mountain-ranges, the Rev. W. B. Clarke has lately maintained that this island, as well as New Caledonia, should be considered as appurtenances of Australia.   

Page 424, par. 2, lines 6–10, substitute for ‘I have  . . .  agency.’: 52   

               In the meantime Dr. Hochstetter has discovered a frog in the mountains of New Zealand which above all, and this is highly surprising, is related to a South American form. But frozen and revitalizable frogs have been found embedded in glaciers. It even seems possible that a frog or its spawn has been carried there from the islands of the South Pole on one of the large icebergs in the Antarctic oceans, from where the highly peculiar plant forms have originated which Australia, New Zealand and the southern tip of America have in common.   

Page 425, par. 1, line 25, substitute for ‘thought’: 53 


Page 425, par. 1, line 30, insert after ‘world’: 54  

               but this island, as before remarked, can only be classed as oceanic with some doubt   

Page 443, par. 1, line 14, substitute for ‘country’: 55  


Page 445, par. 1, line 8, insert after ‘explained.’: 56

               (This is not to say that there be no other explanation of the subordination of character. We know that Mr. Maw has raised the objection against our theory that also minerals and even elementary matter can be classified into groups and subgroups where there is of course no genealogical succession. But the view developed above, explains the classification of organic bodies, and no other explanation has ever been put forward.)   

Page 456, par. 2, lines 8–9, insert after ‘separating them.’:57   

               As soon as the three Orchidean forms, Monachanthus, Myanthus, and Catasetum, which had previously been ranked as three distinct genera, were known to be sometimes produced on the same plant, they were immediately considered as varieties; but now I have been able to show that they really constitute the male, female, and hermaphrodite forms of the same species.   

Page 456, par. 2, line 20, to page 457, par. 1, line 3, delete ‘As soon  . . .  single species.’ 58 

Page 460, par. 1, line 1, insert before ‘As’: 59  

               A number of cases of analogical or adaptive resemblance are very remarkable. Here, I will only discuss one such case which is less eyecatching than the outward resemblance between sea-mammals and fish, between flying possums and flying squirrels, etc. Bates has recently reported how some species of one genus and even varieties within one species of butterflies in the large Amazona valley mimick to such perfection the appearances of species of completely different genera or subfamilies that they can only be distinguished by the most careful examination. It is a further noteworthy fact that the mocking species have rarely been very successful in their struggle for survival whereas the mocked often have. Mr. Bates concludes that the imitators gradually come to their present appearance through natural selection thereby escaping a threat by hiding behind the mask of the more common and successful species.)  


Notes (page references are to Bronn trans. 1863):


1.  p. 2.

2. CD retained this sentence in Origin 4th ed., p. xiv, n., but modified it slightly.

3.  p. 2 n. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. xiv, n.

4.  pp. 8–9. This passage also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. xx.

5.  p. 9. This passage also appears in Origin 4th ed., pp. xx.

6.  p. 10.

7.  p. 22.

8.  p. 28.

9.  p. 29. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 19.

10.  p. 29. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 20.

11.  p. 56. This whole paragraph was extensively rewritten in Origin 4th ed., p. 47.

12.  pp. 61–2.

13.  p. 89. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 87.

14.  p. 102. A similar sentence to this also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 100.

15.  p. 109. A modified version of the original sentence appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 107.

16.  pp. 160–1. This passage also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 160.

17.  p. 171. The original sentence was rewritten in Origin 4th ed., p. 171.

18.  p. 180.

19.  p. 187.

20.  p. 191. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 192.

21. A similar deletion occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 208.

22.  p. 229. A similar substitution occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 242.

23.  p. 229. This addition also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 242.

24.  p. 242. This substitution also occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 256.

25.  p. 242. The original sentence was rewritten in Origin 4th ed., p. 256.

26.  p. 243. This passage also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 257.

27.  p. 271. This substitution also occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 289.

28. This deletion also occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 289.

29.  p. 276. The original sentence was rewritten in Origin 4th ed., p. 289.

30. This deletion also occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 300.

31.  p. 281. The original sentence was removed in Origin 4th ed., p. 300.

32.  p. 281. The original sentence was removed in Origin 4th ed., p. 300.

33.  p. 281. The original sentence was removed in Origin 4th ed., p. 300.

34.  p. 281. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 300.

35.  p. 282. This sentence, with further additions, also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 301.

36.  p. 315. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 347.

37.  p. 339. A similar substitution occurs in Origin 4th ed., pp. 372–3.

38.  p. 366. A similar sentence also appears, in a different part of the text, in Origin 4th ed., p. 402.

39.  p. 367. The original sentence was rewritten in Origin 4th ed., p. 402.

40.  p. 401.

41.  p. 403. This substitution also occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 443.

42.  p. 405. This passage, with further additions, also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 445.

43.  pp. 407–8. This passage also appears in Origin 4th ed., pp. 447–8.

44.  p. 408. A similar passage also appears, with further alterations, in Origin 4th ed., p. 448.

45.  p. 409. A similar passage also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 449.

46.  p. 409. A similar addition also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 449.

47.  p. 409–11. This passage also appears, with slight modifications, in Origin 4th ed., pp. 450–1.

48.  p. 412. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 453.

49.  p. 413. This passage, with additions and modifications, also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 454.

50.  p. 423. This substitution also occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 465.

51.  p. 424. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 466.

52.  p. 426.

53.  p. 427. This substitution also occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 469.

54.  p. 427.

55.  p. 444.

56.  p. 445. A new passage was added at this point in the text in Origin 4th ed., p. 488.

57.  pp. 456–7. This sentence also appears in Origin 4th ed., p. 500.

58. A similar deletion occurs in Origin 4th ed., p. 500.

59.  p. 460. CD included several paragraphs on this subject in Origin 4th ed., pp. 503–6.


About this article

Based on The correspondence of Charles Darwin, volume 10, Appendix VIII