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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Williams & Norgate   28 April 1871

Williams & Norgate, | 14, Henrietta-Street, Covent-Garden. | London, W.C.

April 28 1871.

Ch. Darwin Esq

Dear Sir

With reference to your enquiry about Lavaters Physionomie we beg to give you the following particulars on Brunet’s authority.1

The first edition was published in the German language under the title of “Physiognomische Fragmente” Leipzig 1775/78 in 4 Vols 4to.— The first edition in the French language was published at La Haye in 1781/87 & 1803 in 4 Vols 4to with the title “Essais sur la Physiognomanie”— The next edition is the one you possess in 10 vols 8o. Paris 1805/9.—2

Believe us, Dear Sir | Your obedt. Servants | for Williams & Norgate | [S. Derbyshire]3

CD annotations

Verso of first page: ‘p. 98 Notice sur Lavater | April 13. 1806’ pencil; ‘p 143. Dec 12— 143. | p 209 5 Jan. 1806’4 blue crayon


No letter to Williams & Norgate on this subject has been found. The reference is to Johann Caspar Lavater’s Physiognomische Fragmente (see n. 2, below) and to Pierre Gustave Brunet, a French bibliographer.
These editions are Lavater 1775–8, 1781–1803, and 1806–9. The edition surviving in the Darwin Library–CUL is Lavater 1820, not the 1806–9 one. Both these editions have the title, L’Art de connaître les hommes par la physionomie.
The signature is barely legible. Derbyshire, if that is his name, has not been identified. See also Correspondence vol. 16, letter from Williams & Norgate, 2 June 1868.
The annotations refer to passages in Lavater 1806–9 that CD refers to in Expression, p. 3 n. 6, where he uses the date of its publication in a discussion of the assignment of priority.


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

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

Lavater, Gaspard. 1806–9. L’art de connaître les hommes par la physionomie. New edition. Edited by M. Moreau de la Sarthe. 10 vols. Paris: [L. Prudhomme].

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

Lavater, Johann Caspar. 1775–8. Physiognomische Fragmente, zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntniss und Menschenliebe. 4 vols. Leipzig: Weidmanns Erben und Reich.


Information on the publishing history of a book [J. C. Lavater, Physiognomische Fragmente, 4 vols. (1775–8)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Williams & Norgate
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Henrietta St, 14
Source of text
DAR 181: 104
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7725,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19