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Darwin Correspondence Project

Historical documents

Visiting the Darwins

'As for Mr Darwin, he is entirely fascinating…'  In October 1868 Jane Gray and her husband spent several days as guests of the Darwins, and Jane wrote a charming account of the visit in a sixteen-page letter to her sister.  She described Charles and Emma Darwin, their daughter Henrietta, Down House  and its grounds, the daily routine of the household, and her own part in one of Darwin’s experiments.

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Essay: Natural selection & natural theology

—by Asa Gray

NATURAL SELECTION NOT INCONSISTENT WITH NATURAL THEOLOGY.

Atlantic Monthly for JulyAugust, and October, 1860, reprinted in 1861.

I

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Anne Elizabeth (Annie) Darwin
Anne Elizabeth (Annie) Darwin
CUL DAR 225: 165
Cambridge University Library

The death of Anne Elizabeth Darwin

Charles and Emma Darwin’s eldest daughter, Annie, died at the age of ten in 1851.   Emma was heavily pregnant with their fifth son, Horace, at the time and could not go with Charles when he took Annie to Malvern to consult the hydrotherapist, Dr Gully. Darwin wrote a memorial of his daughter just one week after her death. Annie's younger sister, Henrietta, recorded her own reactions in a poignant set of notes, which Emma Darwin kept.

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Darwin’s first note on marriage
Darwin’s first note on marriage
CUL DAR 210.8: 1
Cambridge University Library

Darwin on marriage

On 11 November 1838 Darwin wrote in his journal ‘The day of days!’. He had proposed to his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, and been accepted; they were married on 29 January 1839. Darwin appears to have written these two notes weighing up the pros and cons of marriage in the months immediately preceding his engagement.

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A page from Darwin's reading notebook, started in 1839
A page from Darwin's reading notebook, started in 1839
CUL DAR 119: 3
Cambridge University Library

Darwin’s reading notebooks

In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to read in Notebook C (Notebooks, pp. 319–28). In 1839, these lists were copied and continued in separate notebooks. The first of these reading notebooks (DAR 119) opens with five pages of text copied from Notebook C and carries on through 1851; the second (DAR 128) continues the list from 1852 to 1860, when, except for a few odd entries, the record ends.

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