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Darwin Correspondence Project

To C. F. Bergstedt?   6 July [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

July 6th

Dear Sir

I am greatly indebted to you for the honour which you have done me in reviewing my works, & for your kindness in having sent a copy of the several articles to me.—2 One of my sons knows some Sweedish, so I shall be able to learn something about them.3

I did not know before looking at the heads of your articles that my Origin of Species had been translated into Sweedish.—4

With my best thanks & respect I remain | Dear Sir | Yours faithfully & obliged | Ch Darwin


The year is established by the reference to a Swedish review of Descent (see n. 2, below).
CD probably refers to an anonymous three-part review of Descent and two other works about Darwinism in Samtiden: Veckoskrift för Politik och Litteratur, a weekly journal edited by Bergstedt. The review appeared in the 10 June, 17 June, and 23 June issues in 1871, pp. 353–61, 369–84, 385–400. There is a copy of the review in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
CD probably refers to George Howard Darwin; George and Francis Darwin visited Norway in August 1866, and George learned Norwegian (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242); letter from G. H. Darwin to H. E. Darwin, [3 June or 8 July 1866], DAR 251: 2240). He became fluent in several languages (ODNB).
One of the works reviewed in Samtiden (see n. 2, above) was the Swedish translation of Origin, Selling trans. 1871.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.

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.

Selling, A. M. trans. 1871. Om arternas uppkomst genom naturligt urval eller de bäst utrustade rasernas bestand [IMPORTANT NOTE: SWEDISH ACCENT TO HAND-SET: CIRCLE OVER A IN BESTAND ]i kampen för tillvaron. [Swedish translation of Origin.\] Stockholm: L. J. Hierta.


Thanks author of an anonymous Swedish review of CD’s works [in Samtiden, Vecksckrift för politik och litteratur, ed. C. F. Bergstedt, nos. 23–5 (1871): 358–64, 374–81, 390–7]. CD is surprised to learn the Origin has appeared in Swedish [1869].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Carl Fredrik Bergstedt
Sent from
Source of text
Kungliga biblioteket, National Library of Sweden
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7852,” accessed on 21 October 2021,

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