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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Cresy   20 November 1867

Metropolitan Board of Works | Spring Gardens

20 Nov 67.

My dear Sir,

The titles of the books I spoke to you about are—

Lebrun Charles— Conferences sur l’expression des differents caracteres des passions— Paris 4to. 1667.1

Lebrun Charles— Traitè de la physionomie aux rappat de la physionomie humaine avec celle des animaux 1 vol fol 56 plates. (no date)2

Le Grand & Baltard— Dissertation sur le traitè de Lebrun. Atlas fol 37 plates Paris 1827. published at £2.23

Both the Passions & the Dissertation were in Bohn’s catalogue 15 yrs ago but I do not see them in Quaritch’s current catalogue, but they are not very rare & Murray could soon get them for you—4

My copy of Sir C Bells Anatomy of Expression is 4to London 1806. & that is given in the catalogue as the first edition—5

I have not forgotten the academic enquiries & have just got a batch of proof or rather revise from Paris in returning which I will propound the matter to my friend—6

I hope you continue as flourishing as when we saw you   this sharp morning touches up my back terribly. twas better on Wednesday—

With kindest remembrances to all your circle—

Yours very truly | E Cresy

C Darwin Esq–

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Lebrun’; ‘Not in London L or Athenæum | Brit. Mus.’ pencil


The reference is erroneous; Charles Le Brun delivered his lecture on the expression of the passions in spring 1668 (Montagu 1994, p. 142).
Square brackets in original. For a detailed history of the numerous illustrated editions of Le Brun’s work on human expression, see Montagu 1994, pp. 175–87. CD referred to Le Brun in Expression, quoting from Conférence tenue en l’académie royale de peinture et de sculpture par Charles Le Brun, sur l’expression générale et particulière, which was published in the ninth volume of Lavater 1820, pp. 257–302; there is an annotated copy of Lavater 1820 in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 484–5).
Cresy refers to Jacques-Guillaume Legrand, Louis-Pierre Baltard, and Legrand and Baltard 1827.
Cresy refers to Henry George Bohn, Bernard Quaritch, and John Murray.
Cresy refers to Charles Bell and to Bell 1806. There is a heavily annotated copy of the third edition of Bell’s Anatomy of expression (Bell 1844) in the Darwin Library–CUL; the inscription indicates that CD acquired it from Erasmus Alvey Darwin in November 1866 (see Marginalia 1: 47–9). CD referred frequently to the third edition in Expression. See also letter to A. R. Wallace, [12–17] March [1867] and n. 8.
Cresy had spent time in Paris while training as an architect (DNB).


Bell, Charles. 1806. Essays on the anatomy of expression in painting. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme.

Bell, Charles. 1844. The anatomy and philosophy of expression as connected with the fine arts. Preface by George Bell, and an appendix on the nervous system by Alexander Shaw. 3d edition, enlarged. London: John Murray.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Lavater, Gaspard. 1820. L’art de connaître les hommes par la physionomie. New edition by M. Moreau de la Sarthe. 10 vols. Paris: Depélafol.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Montagu, Jennifer. 1994. The expression of the passions: the origin and influence of Charles Le Brun’s Conférence sur l’expression générale et particulière. New Haven, Conn., and London: Yale University Press.


Sends references to books by Charles Lebrun.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Cresy, Jr
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Metropolitan Board of Works
Source of text
DAR 161: 249
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5687,” accessed on 20 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15