Works Part IV

Between 1712 and 1717, Leeuwenhoek wrote these 46 letters to a variety of people, many of them public figures, politicians and academics. He addressed about a fifth of them to the Royal Society in spite of the fact that editor Edmond Halley was showing not the slightest interest in publishing them.

In 1718, Leeuwenhoek collected the 46, numbered them in Latin (second column in table below), and published them himself in Dutch as the fourth and final volume of his collected letters. As with the other volumes of his Brieven, a total of 165 letters, he had them translated into Latin and published in a separate and mostly parallel volume the following year. The portrait of Leeuwenhoek in his 70's by Goree (right; click to enlarge) is set into the frontispiece.

Half of the letters had figures, copperplate made from drawings, probably of red chalk. These images are viewable as Leeuwenhoek's Cabinet of Wonders.

Year  Dobell # Short Title
# of ltrs
AvL #
1718 19. Send-Brieven Beman 46 I - XLVI
1719 28. Epistolae Physiologicae Beman 46 I - XLVI

Summary of Characteristics

  Tp Sum Fr D R Pag running headers N S F P In
19. Send-Brieven y y 1 12 n xvi + 1-460 v: Antoni van Leeuwenhoeks
r: Send-Brieven.
y y 144 31 28
28. Epistolae
y n 1 4 16 xxiii + 1-446 v: Antonii a Leeuwenhoek
r: Epistolae Physiologicae.
y y 144 1 26