skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

British Association


Richard Owen
Richard Owen, photograph by Ernest Edwards, c. 1863. From L. Reeve ed. 1863-6
CUL Ii.4.35
Cambridge University Library

Darwin in letters, 1860: Answering critics

On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwin’s Origin of species, printing off another 3000 copies to satisfy the demands of an audience that surprised both the publisher and the author. It wasn't long, however, before ‘the stones began to fly’. Members of the scientific community found many difficulties in Origin in the year after its publication and Darwin despaired of making his ideas understood. Among these problems was that arising from the implications it had for human ancestry, hotly debated at the famous meeting of the British Association in Oxford that summer.

Read more