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Darwin Correspondence Project

4.17 'Figaro', unidentifiable 1871

Yet another portrayal of Darwin as a tree-dwelling ape was published in The Figaro in October 1871, and titled ‘A Darwinian hypothesis’. The image survives in a torn page in the Darwin archive, but it has so far proved impossible to find an extant copy of the London edition of the journal for this date. ‘See p. 4’ at bottom right of the plate suggests that a commentary was provided. The rather inexpert caricature is signed with a monogram, which awaits decipherment and identification.  

  • physical location Darwin archive, Cambridge University Library 

  • accession or collection number DAR 140.4.6 

  • copyright holder Syndics of Cambridge University Library 

  • originator of image unidentified 

  • date of creation October 1871 

  • computer-readable date 1871-10-01 to 1871-10-27 

  • medium and material lithograph 

  • references and bibliography The Figaro, 28 October 1871, p. 9. Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place. Volume II of a Biography (London: Jonathan Cape, 2002), p. 378. Browne, ‘Darwin in caricature: a study in the popularization and dissemination of evolutionary theory’, in Barbara Larson and Fae Brauer (eds), The Art of Evolution: Darwin, Darwinisms, and Visual Culture (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press and University Press of New England, 2009), pp. 18-39 (p. 31). J. van Wyhe, ‘Iconography’, p. 185.  


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