Dora Schmitz an Ernst Haeckel, London, 28. Januar 1900
12 Leamington Road Villas
January 28th 1900
Hochgeehrter Lieber Dr. Haeckel,
You will be expecting to hear from me & to know the result of my interview with E. Ray Lankester.
I am sorry to say that he finds it impossible to undertake the work of editing the English version of your „Welträthsel.“ He very kindly, however, advised me to write to Dr. Gadow of Cambridge on the subject, & this I did without delay; Dr. Gadow’s reply is that his time is so fully occupied for many months to come that he cannot give me any help. I went also one morning to see W. Bates he seemed anxious || to be allowed to make arrangements about the publication of the translation. This, however, I could not do at the time as I considered that the editor could be likely to wish to make these arrangements himself.
All this, dear Dr. Haeckel will show you that, as I said in my last letter, I was anxious to accept your kind offer that I should translate your new volume & introduce it to English readers. But, I regret to say that during this last week circumstances have arisen that will prevent my doing literary work of any kind for some time to come. Duty seems to call me in an entirely different direction || so that very regretfully I have to tell you that it will be beyond my power to do this work for you.
There must be many desirous of doing the translation & I shall hope to hear that your work will not be long in appearing in English.
My belongings in Glasgow (my brother-in-law Dr. Young Prof. of Natural History at the University there, & my dear sister) were keenly interested in the thought that I might be able to do the work, & now share in my disappointment ‒ but there is no ways out of my difficulty.
All those who know and recognize how necessary it is for us „fromme Engländer” to be roused out of our comfortable and lazy old ways, must (?) || ignore at the appearance of such a book as your „Welträthsel” which must cannot fail to get rusty minds a-thinking even though they may not choose to follow your lead altogether.
With a renewed expression of regret that I am wholly unable to undertake the translation of your new work, believe me with kindest remembrances and all good wishes
Yours very sincerely
L. Dora Schmitz
Prof. E. Haeckel, Jena.