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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Hermann Kindt   5 September 1864

Yarm, Yorkshire

September 5. 1864.


Would you be kind enough to let me know, if it be allowed to translate extracts from your work on “The Contrivances by which Orchids are fertilised by Insects”?1 A friend of mine in Germany particularly wishes to know this; or if the whole work is in the course of translation?2 You will know how your writings have captured German students of Natural Philosophy, and how we consider them quasi a commentary to Dr. Louis Büchner philosophical writings.3 There is a small volume of yours which my friend cannot obtain in Germany; I, therefore beg to ask you, if it was only printed for the Royal Society. The title is: ‘A monograph on the Subclass Cirripedia”.4

Allow me to take this opportunity to express to you the admiration I feel for your enlightning writings, and believe me with greatest respect, | Sir, | your obdt servant | Hermann Kindt

Charles Darwin Esq. | M.A., F.R.S., etc.


The reference is to Orchids, published in 1862.
Kindt’s friend has not been identified. Kindt was evidently unaware that a German translation of Orchids by Heinrich Georg Bronn had been published on 20 October 1862 (Bronn trans. 1862). See Correspondence vol. 10, letter from H. G. Bronn, 21 June 1862.
In 1855 Ludwig (Louis) Büchner published Kraft und Stoff (Büchner 1855), in which he put forward a materialist concept of nature (see Gregory 1977, pp. 100–21). For an assessment of the significance of Büchner’s work in popularising Darwinism in Germany, see Kelly 1981 and Tort 1996. For a general discussion of the reception of CD’s theory in Germany, see the letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 [July 1864] and n. 6.
Living Cirripedia (1851, 1854) was published in two volumes by the Ray Society in 1851 and 1854. In recognition of his work on the first volume, CD was awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1853. For a discussion of CD’s barnacle work, conducted between 1846 and 1854, see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix II.


Büchner, Ludwig. 1855. Kraft und Stoff. Empirisch-naturphilosophische Studien. In allgemein-verständlicher Darstellung. Frankfurt am Main: Weidinger.

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

Gregory, Frederick. 1977. Scientific materialism in nineteenth century Germany. Dordrecht, Netherlands, and Boston, Mass.: D. Reidel Publishing Company.

Kelly, Alfred. 1981. The descent of Darwin. The popularization of Darwinism in Germany, 1860–1914. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Tort, Patrick. 1996. Dictionnaire du Darwinisme et de l’evolution. 3 vols. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.


Requests permission, for a friend, to publish extracts of Orchids in German translation.

Letter details

Letter no.
Hermann Adolph Christian August (Hermann) Kindt
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 169: 11
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4609,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

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