RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1880. [Letter to Samuel Butler on Kosmos and Erasmus Darwin]. In Butler, S. Unconscious memory. London: D. Bogue, pp. 72-3.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe. 3.2008. RN1

NOTE: See the page images for the surrounding comments by Butler.

[page] 72

January 3, 1880.

MY DEAR SIR,1—Dr. Krause, soon after the appearance of his article in Kosmos, told me that he intended to publish it separately and to alter it considerably, and the altered MS.

1 Samuel Butler (1835-1902), novelist who became a critic of Darwinism in the 1870s. Ernst Krause's short biography of Darwin's grandfather was published in Kosmos in February 1879. A revised version, which referred indirectly to Butler 1879 (published in May), was translated into English and published by Darwin in November. Butler was outraged by the implication that the alterations appeared in the German original. See The Darwin-Butler Controversy. Appendix 2 in Autobiography, pp. 167-229. Calendar: 12396.

[page] 73

was sent to Mr. Dallas1 for translation. This is so common a practice that it never occurred to me to state that the article had been modified; but now I much regret that I did not do so. The original will soon appear in German, and I believe will be a much larger book than the English one; for, with Dr. Krause’s consent, many long extracts from Miss Seward2 were omitted (as well as much other matter), from being in my opinion superfluous for the English reader. I believe that the omitted parts will appear as notes in the German edition. Should there be a reprint of the English Life I will state that the original as it appeared in Kosmos was modified by Dr. Krause before it was translated. I may add that I had obtained Dr. Krause’s consent for a translation, and had arranged with Mr. Dallas before your book was announced. I remember this because Mr. Dallas wrote to tell me of the advertisement.—I remain, yours faithfully, C. DARWIN.

1 William Sweetland Dallas (1824-1890), entomologist and author who translated Fritz Müller, Für Darwin (1869) and Erasmus Darwin.

2 Anna Seward (1747-1809), author and poet who published a biography of Erasmus Darwin in 1804. Seward 1804.

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