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Darwin Correspondence Project



Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Darwin, 1871, photograph by Oscar Gustaf Rejlander
CUL DAR 257: 14
Cambridge University Library

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest

The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression. Darwin continued to investigate the mechanisms of various emotions, such as grief, shame, and astonishment, drawing on the expertise of physicians and physiologists, as well as zoo-keepers, pet owners, parents of young children, and professional photographers. The year  also brought a significant milestone for the family, as Darwin’s eldest daughter Henrietta was married in August. 

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