Tag Archives: public

Women, Fashion and Frivolity

If, as we saw in an earlier post, evolutionary theory could account for the peculiarities and embellishments of men’s dress, what about women’s fashion? In “Development in Dress,” George Darwin argued that the apparent fancy points of men’s coats, hats, and cloaks … Continue reading

The Public and Private Face of Mary Treat

Mary Treat was a Naturalist from New Jersey and a major contributor to botanical and entomological developments of the nineteenth century. Over the period 1871 – 1876 she exchanged fifteen letters with Darwin – more than any other woman Naturalist.   As … Continue reading

Darwin, Becker & Sexual Equality

Charles Darwin is not well known as a promoter of women’s rights. Indeed, much of his work explicitly opposed the arguments for sexual equality put forward by first wave feminists of the nineteenth century. In The Descent of Man, for example, Darwin makes … Continue reading

Darwin’s Invisible Workforce

Charles Darwin was not just a eminent Naturalist – he was also the head of a thriving family economy who drew on the help of his relatives at any (and, it seems, every!) opportunity. His eldest son, William, was regularly tasked with observing plants and … Continue reading

Burn After Reading

One question which arises a lot when sifting through Darwin’s letters is are we prying? Did Darwin and his correspondents consider their letters to be public objects or private exchanges intended only for the eyes of the sender and recipient in … Continue reading