Author Archives: DarwinLetters

Blistering Barnacles – by post!

The Natural History Museum of Denmark has just discovered a collection of barnacles sent by Charles Darwin to Japetus Steenstrup in 1854 as a thank you gift – a “very inadequate return” (Letter 1589, 7 Sept [1854]) – for the … Continue reading

Featured Correspondent: Thomas Rivers

The Project was recently contacted by the owner of an important Darwin letter that contains a rare instance of the key expressions “natural selection” and “struggle for existence” in correspondence. The letter was addressed to Thomas Rivers, a nurseryman in … Continue reading

Darwin’s injury time in Brazil

When the US football team lost to Belgium in the stadium in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, they could have consoled themselves with the reflection that Darwin didn’t altogether enjoy it either.   Bahia was the place where he first set foot on … Continue reading

Hockey night in…Shrewsbury?

This week, a bombshell rocked the world of winter sports – hockey is, apparently, not from Canada. What drew our attention to this revelation is a letter from Charles Darwin used as evidence for the game’s roots in England. With … Continue reading

Casting about: Darwin on worms

This week Darwin and earthworms featured in the news announcement that a citizen science project has been launched to map the distribution of earthworms across Britain (BBC Today programme, 26 May 2014). The general understanding of the role earthworms play … Continue reading

Who is this correspondent? Charlotte Papé

Who is this correspondent?   She wrote to Charles Darwin on 16 July 1875   Charlotte was literate and articulate; her use of English was idiomatic. She may not have been young in 1875: she wrote that ‘of course, like … Continue reading

Mystery solved!

Thanks to everyone who offered ideas for our mystery correspondent, who sent a letter to Charles Darwin from 81 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin on 9 March 1875! We’re thrilled to say that we now have a definite result.   Glenn … Continue reading

Can you help?

We’re trying to find this correspondent – are you able to help?   The letter was written to Charles Darwin on 9 March 1875 from 81 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin. The correspondent says that they have just finished reading Descent. … Continue reading

Darwin’s Women Film

To conclude the Darwin & Gender research project a short film has been produced. In the film Dr Philippa Hardman presents the project’s findings saying: “Darwin was no feminist, but our research has shown that his views on gender were … Continue reading

Lost in Patagonia

In 1874, when Darwin was preparing the second edition of Descent of Man, he received letters from all over the world in reply to his queries about human behaviour; one in particular would have stirred up unexpected memories of his … Continue reading