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Darwin Correspondence Project



Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin. Photograph by the London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company, 1865
Wellcome Library, London

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

The year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend and supporter; Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and father of Darwin’s friend Joseph Hooker’s father. There was also a serious dispute between two of Darwin’s friends, John Lubbock and Charles Lyell. These events all inspired sombre reflections in Darwin’s letters. Nevertheless, all the Darwin children were thriving. When illness made work impossible, Darwin and Hooker read a number of novels, and discussed them in their letters.

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