skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Armand de Watteville   5 December [1871]1

Grove House | Pembridge Square

Dec. 5th.

Dear Sir

I am quite ashamed of my carelessness & of having given you the trouble of writing.2 The first 4 vols. of the 1st Ed. were published in 1806— Vols V–IX appeared the year after— The Index in 1809.

The passages you quote from vol IV, p 228 & from vol IX. p. 279, occur in the 1st Ed. at pages 287 & 318 of the same vols. in the 1st Ed. I suppose that the difference is due only to a change in the size of the paper or the type.3 The 1st Ed was published by subscription— In the subscribers’ list (about 〈3〉00) a few booksellers are found subscribing for 2 or more copies. I suppose therefore the 〈e〉d. to be rare.

My copy comes from the library of the late Dr Turton, Bp. of Ely.4

Hoping that you will kindly excuse my thus taking up your valuable time | I remain | Dear Sir | Yours very respectfully | De Watteville

CD annotations

2.1 The … Ely. 3.1] crossed pencil
Top of letter: ‘Lavater by Moreau5 Date of 1st Edit for note’ pencil


The year is established from the relationship between this letter and the letter from Williams & Norgate, 28 April 1871, and from CD’s annotation indicating that he was checking the references in Expression (see n. 3, below).
No correspondence between Watteville and CD, other than this letter, has been found.
Watteville refers to different editions of Johann Caspar Lavater’s work on physiognomy. In Expression, p. 3 n. 6, CD mentioned that the quotations he gave on p. 4 were taken from the 1820 edition of Lavater; he also noted that the first volume of the first edition (Lavater 1806–9) was published in 1806. Some had claimed that it was published in 1805, giving its editor, Jacques Louis Moreau de la Sarth, scientific priority over Charles Bell, whose work on facial expression was published in 1806 (Bell 1806).
The library of Thomas Turton, bishop of Ely had been auctioned on 2 March 1864 (The Times, 29 February 1864, p. 29).
Moreau de la Sarth had edited both Lavater 1806–9 and Lavater 1820.


Gives publication date for J. C. Lavater, L’Art de connaître les hommes, 1806–9, edited by J. L. Moreau. The first four volumes appeared in 1806.

Letter details

Letter no.
Armand de Watteville
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Grove House, London, Pembridge Square
Source of text
DAR 181: 40
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8660,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)