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Darwin Correspondence Project


Darwin exchanged letters with nearly 2000 people during his lifetime. These range from well known naturalists, thinkers, and public figures, to men and women who would be unknown today were it not for the letters they exchanged with Darwin.


Jane Loring Gray
Jane Loring Gray , 1886
Courtesy of the Gray Herbarium

Jane Gray

Jane Loring Gray, the daughter of a Boston lawyer, married the Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1848 and evidence suggests that she took an active interest in the scientific pursuits of her husband and his friends. Although she is only known to have corresponded directly with Darwin once, sending him observations about the behaviour of her dog (letter from J. L. Gray, 14 February 1870), she also passed on information through her husband, and is one of few women cited in Darwin’s Expression of Emotions. The Grays visited Charles and Emma Darwin twice, spending several days as guests at Down House in October 1868, and visiting again in August 1869. Although they never met again, the two couples became close friends. 

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