Tag Archives: Darwin

Darwin, Becker & Sexual Equality

Charles Darwin is not well known as a promoter of women’s rights. Indeed, much of his work explicitly opposed the arguments for sexual equality put forward by first wave feminists of the nineteenth century. In The Descent of Man, for example, Darwin makes … Continue reading

The Scent of Woman

In March 1872 Gaston de Saporta, a French paleobotanist, penned a letter to Darwin offering two pieces of evidence in support of Darwin’s theory on the common ancestry of man and ape.   The first point of similarity between the two … Continue reading

Darwin’s Invisible Workforce

Charles Darwin was not just a eminent Naturalist – he was also the head of a thriving family economy who drew on the help of his relatives at any (and, it seems, every!) opportunity. His eldest son, William, was regularly tasked with observing plants and … Continue reading

Burn After Reading

One question which arises a lot when sifting through Darwin’s letters is are we prying? Did Darwin and his correspondents consider their letters to be public objects or private exchanges intended only for the eyes of the sender and recipient in … Continue reading

Women and Science, Past and Present

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women, particularly those who have struggled to participate in society on an equal footing with men. Darwin’s correspondence is a rich source of evidence of extraordinary women who did just that; from international travellers and diamond prospectors to … Continue reading

Monkeys, Gingerbread and Latin

A summary of our content so far, Wordle-style!     Posted by Philippa Hardman

What can Darwin teach us about sexuality?

This month is LGBT History Month, an annual event which celebrates the lives of the LGBT community both past and present. The event helps draw attention to the ongoing work of organisations like Schools Out, which encourage teachers to give lessons on ‘significant’ gay … Continue reading

Keeping it in the Family

As suggested in an earlier blog post, Darwin was something of a reluctant bride groom. His chief concern about getting married and having children centred on the loss of freedom it would entail and, of course, the impact that this … Continue reading

Dawkins, Darwin and friends

In an article and book review published in The Guardian in 2003, Richard Dawkins excitedly reported that “an obscure letter in a library” suggested that Charles Darwin was the forefather not only of the theory of evolution but also of modern genetics. The … Continue reading

Science – no job for a lady!

Darwin’s female correspondents give us a glimpse of just how many Victorian women were involved in scientific projects. They may have seen themselves as enthusiastic amateurs but the letters show that they carried out valuable observations and experiments in their own … Continue reading