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To Frans Cornelis Donders   6 September 1869

Summary

Asks about Charles Bell’s statement concerning contraction of eye muscles. Asks whether such contraction is related to secretion of tears.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  6 Sept 1869
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.314)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6878

From F. C. Donders   12 November 1869

Summary

CD’s questions [on expression] are more difficult than he thought and have led him further afield than he expected. If CD is not hurried, he promises less imperfect answers in six weeks. Thanks CD for drawing his attention to a really important question from different points of view.

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Nov 1869
Classmark:  DAR 162: 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6983

To F. C. Donders   17 November [1869]

Summary

There is no hurry for information. Delighted that FCD is making experiments.

It was a sincere pleasure to make FCD’s acquaintance.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  17 Nov [1869]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D 25.315)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6991

From F. C. Donders   17 May 1870

Summary

The illness and death of his daughter have delayed his answers to CD’s queries. He has, however, worked on the circulation of the eye and has almost finished a paper on it, which he will send to CD. In general, the views of Charles Bell are confirmed.

As for CD’s second query, he doubts that the relationship exists, but will answer fully in next letter.

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 May 1870
Classmark:  DAR 162: 224
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7141

To Frans Cornelis Donders   13 May [1870]

Summary

In a fortnight will begin to arrange notes on expression. Asks for FCD’s conclusions about the contraction of eye muscles. Is interested in abstract of FCD’s experiments on "rate of travelling of the nervous powers".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  13 May [1870]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.316)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7187

To F. C. Donders   19 May 1870

Summary

Expresses sympathy [on death of FCD’s daughter].

Will be grateful for his paper and letter.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  19 May 1870
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.317)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7194

From F. C. Donders   27 May 1870

Summary

Has finished the article [on the action of the eyelids in Ned. Arch. Geneeskd. & Natuurkd. 5 (1870), also see 7238]; summarises: the occlusion of the eyelids protects the vessels, and the eye itself, against the danger of pressure caused by excessive expiratory action. The weakness of the conclusion is that the extent of the danger caused by the pressure to the normal state of the eye is not precisely known.

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 May 1870
Classmark:  DAR 162: 225
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7203

From F. C. Donders   28 May 1870

Summary

A detailed description of the physiological and anatomical processes related to the prolonged involuntary contraction of the orbicular muscles and the secretion of tears (as in retching, violent coughing, or laughing). [See Expression, p. 160.].

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 May 1870
Classmark:  DAR 162: 226
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7207

To F. C. Donders   3 June [1870]

Summary

Thanks FCD for information.

Hopes that translation of his paper will appear in Dublin Journal.

Notes experience of his son [Leonard Darwin] on engorgement of eyes with blood. Discusses secretion of tears when eye muscles are involuntarily contracted.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  3 June [1870]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.318)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7215

To F. C. Donders   21 June 1870

Summary

Comments on translation of FCD’s paper ["On the action of the eyelids", Arch. Med. 5 (1870): 20–38].

Speculates that closing eyelids may protect eyes from vibrations.

Discusses publication of Expression.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  21 June 1870
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.319)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7238

From F. C. Donders   14 March 1871

Summary

Thanks CD for Descent.

Sends a copy of his oratio inauguralis on De harmonie van het dierlijke leven [1848] in which he espoused evolution, but did not see the influence of natural selection.

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Mar 1871
Classmark:  DAR 162: 227
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7582

To F. C. Donders   18 March 1871

Summary

Comments on FCD’s 1848 work [see 7582] in which he came near to anticipating CD.

Comments on FCD’s paper [on action of the eyelids, see 7203]. Asks about contraction or dilation of the iris due to emotional states, illness, or prostration.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  18 Mar 1871
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.320)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7595

From F. C. Donders   28 March 1871

Summary

Answers to CD’s queries will take time. CD may not be aware of the influence of accommodation on the diameter of the pupil of the eye. Parrots, for example, contract or dilate the pupil independently of amount of light [see Expression, p. 304]. Sends his book on the subject [On the anomalies of accommodation and refraction of the eye (1864)].

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Mar 1871
Classmark:  DAR 162: 228
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7634

From F. C. Donders   16 June 1871

Summary

Replies to CD’s queries on movement of the eyes in meditation, and changes in the iris in rage and terror [see Expression, pp. 229, 304].

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  16 June 1871
Classmark:  DAR 162: 229
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7821

To F. C. Donders   19 June 1871

Summary

Thanks FCD for information about eyes [for Expression].

Must interrupt work on the subject to prepare new edition of Origin [6th].

Comments on gift of a new work by FCD [possibly "Die Projection der Gesichtserscheinung nach der Richtungslinien", Arch. Opthalmol. 17 (1871) Abt. 2: 1–68].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  19 June 1871
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.321)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7824

To F. C. Donders   29 March 1872

Summary

Comments on action of eyes in a person lost in meditation. Asks about Charles Bell’s explanation [in Anatomy of expression (1806, 1844)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  29 Mar 1872
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.322)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8257

From F. C. Donders   1 April 1872

Summary

His analysis and explanation of the fact, observed by Charles Bell, that the eyeballs are turned upwards and inwards when consciousness begins to fail.

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Apr 1872
Classmark:  DAR 162: 230
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8266

To F. C. Donders   8 April 1872

Summary

Thanks FCD for information, which will make him "strike out a good deal".

Has received German pamphlet.

Will read work by John Soelberg Wells [? A treatise on the diseases of the eye (1869, 1870)].

Discusses his work on expression.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  8 Apr 1872
Classmark:  DAR 143: 413
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8279

From F. C. Donders   17 April 1872

Summary

Protests against CD’s statement that FCD’s letter will make him "strike out a good deal". He would never pardon himself for being the cause of any suppression by CD. It is for specialists to put their knowledge at CD’s service. He is mistaken if he thinks a knowledge of physiology is sufficient for writing a book on expression. It is CD’s conception and spirit that all await. Offers to read those parts of the proofs of Expression dealing with physiology.

Author:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 Apr 1872
Classmark:  DAR 162: 231
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8290

To F. C. Donders   20 April 1872

Summary

Thanks FCD for suggested deletions in MS of Expression. Declines offer from FCD to examine proofs also.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Date:  20 Apr 1872
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (B/D25.324)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8295
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letter (29)
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1869 (3)
1870 (7)
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