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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Rudolf Suchsland   16 April 1866

25. Belle Vue Street. | Swansea.

16th April 1866.

Dear Sir,

Yesterday I received a letter from my father, who desires me to thank you for your very interesting communications & to inform you, that under the existing circumstances, he has given up the idea of publishing a new translation of the “Origin of Species”.1

Nevertheless he wishes to call your attention to the fact, that Prof. Geinitz of Dresden has until now only written against your theory.2 You will find this corroborated by a letter from Dr. Rolle addressed to you, which I take the liberty to enclose.3 Dr. Rolle was therefore greatly astonished to hear that Prof. Geinitz was going to superintend the publication of the new edition.

My father begs further to communicate to you the following literary notices, which may perhaps interest you.

Prof. Dr. Oscar Schmidt & Prof. Franz Unger (the celebrated Botanist) have published: “The age of mankind & the Paradise” two lectures, in which Darwin’s theory is highly commended. Prof Schmidt acknowledges openly, that having formerly been an adversary of this theory, he has now become a most decided follower of the same.4

Prof. Ernst Hallier of Jena has published: “Darwin’s theory & the Specification,” a little book full of self-praise, in which the author speaks against Bronn’s translation.5 Count Mariani of Florence has written a most interesting book called: “Confessions of a Metaphysician”. The first volume contains the Ontology particularly directed against Hegel; the second volume, Kosmology pays special attention to Darwin’s theory.6

Hoping that I have not tired you, I remain, dear Sir, | yours | most respectfully | R. Suchsland.

Chas. Darwin Esq. | Down.


CD’s letters have not been found. On Friedrich Emil Suchsland’s interest in publishing a new German edition of Origin, see the letter from Rudolf Suchsland, 2 April 1866 and n. 2.
Christian Friedrich Schweizerbart, the publisher of the first and second German editions of Origin (Bronn trans. 1860 and 1863), had suggested that Hans Bruno Geinitz would undertake the translation of a third German edition. See letter from E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 23 March 1866.
The reference is to Schmidt and Unger 1866, two lectures given at the University of Graz. There is a copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Unger’s lecture, ‘Steiermark zur Zeit der Braunkohlenbildung’ (Styria during the time of brown coal formation), contained a brief remark that CD’s theory was compatible with the creation of humans by ‘organic means’ (ibid., pp. 44–5). Oskar Schmidt’s lecture, ‘Das Alter der Menscheit: nach den neueren geologischen Forschungen und Darwin’s Hypothese’ (The age of mankind as determined by new geological researches and Darwin’s hypothesis), contained an afterword in which Schmidt discussed recent research by Fritz Müller, Carl Gegenbaur, and others that was supportive of CD’s theory. Schmidt added that he had been especially convinced by Gegenbaur’s work (ibid., pp. 31–6).
Hallier’s review, ‘Darwin’s Lehre und die Specification’, claimed that Heinrich Georg Bronn’s translation of Origin (Bronn trans. 1863) contained many scientific errors, and gave rise to misunderstandings and ‘teleological readings’ not present in the original (Hallier 1865, pp. 61–2). There is a copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
The reference is to Confessioni di un Metafisico by Terenzio Mamiani della Rovere (Mamiani della Rovere 1865), and to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. For more on Mamiani della Rovere, see Corsi and Weindling 1985, p. 720.


Hallier, Ernst. 1865. Darwin’s Lehre und die Specification. Hamburg: Otto Meissner.

Mamiani della Rovere, Terenzio, Count. 1865. Confessioni di un metafisico. 2 vols. Florence: G. Barbèra.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Reports that his father has given up the idea of publishing a new edition of the Origin but points out that H. B. Geinitz of Dresden has, to date, only written against CD’s theory.

Letter details

Letter no.
Georg Rudolf Emil (Rudolf) Suchsland
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 177: 273
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5059,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14