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Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year

Summary

The year 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working on second editions of Coral reefs and Descent of man; the rest of the year was mostly devoted to further research on insectivorous plants. A…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … Erasmus’s house. The event was led by the medium Charles E. Williams, and was attended by George …
  • … sweetly all the horrid bother of correction’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 21 [March 1874] ). The …
  • … artificial gastric juice  for about a week ( letter from E. E. Klein, 14 May 1874 ). John Burdon …
  • … try to get it exhibited at a Royal Society of London soirée  (see letter from Anton Dohrn, 6 April …
  • … nephew, the fine-art specialist Henry Parker ( letter from E. A. Darwin, 17 [March 1874] ). He …
  • … Julius Victor Carus, and his publisher, Eduard Koch of E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, …
  • … thinking he could not weary the German public ( letter to H. E. Litchfield,  21 [March 1874] ). …

Origin is 160; Darwin's 1875 letters now online

Summary

To mark the 160th anniversary of the publication of Origin of species, the full transcripts and footnotes of nearly 650 letters to and from Charles Darwin in 1875 are published online for the first time. You can read about Darwin's life in 1875…

Matches: 2 hits

  • if  the experiment made this possible  ( Letter to HELitchfield, 4 January [1875] ) …
  • energy as yours almost always succeeds  ( Letter to GHDarwin, 13 October [1875] ) …

Darwin in letters, 1872: Job done?

Summary

'My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, 'is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work’, and the tenor of his correspondence throughout the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye…

Matches: 9 hits

  • selection is somewhat under a cloud’, he wrote to JETaylor on 13 January , and he complained
  • the theories of natural and sexual selection to bees (HMüller 1872), and with his reply Darwin
  • for myself it is dreadful doing nothing’ ( letter to THHuxley, 22 October [1872] ). He was far
  • origins of music provided by her husband, Richard Buckley Litchfield ( letter to HELitchfield, …
  • … 'I know that I am half-killed myself’ ( letter to HELitchfield, 25 July 1872 ). A
  • a week later ( enclosure to letter from John Lubbock to WEGladstone, 20 June 1872 ).  Darwin
  • Charlton Bastians recent book on the origin of life (HCBastian 1872; Wallace 1872d) left him
  • pleasant letters & never answer them’ ( letter to THHuxley, 22 October [1872] ). But not
  • than usual. One such old friend was Sarah Haliburton, née Owen, to whose sister, Fanny, Darwin had

Referencing women’s work

Summary

Darwin's correspondence shows that women made significant contributions to Darwin's work, but whether and how they were acknowledged in print involved complex considerations of social standing, professional standing, and personal preference.…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Mary Barton. Letter 8321 - Darwin to Litchfield, H. E., [13 May 1872] …
  • … rely”. Letter 8427 - Darwin to Litchfield H. E., [25 July 1872] Darwin …
  • … . Letter 12745 - Darwin to Wedgwood, K. E. S., [8 October 1880] Darwin …
  • … Mould . Letter 12760 - Wedgwood, K. E. S. to Darwin, [15 October 1880] …
  • … Letter 13037 - Darwin to Darwin, W. E., [5 February 1881] Darwin discusses …

Darwin's bad days

Summary

Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and experimenting, even Darwin had some bad days. These times when nothing appeared to be going right are well illustrated by the following quotations from his letters:

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and …

List of correspondents

Summary

Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … Abberley, John (1) Abbot, F. E. (17) …
  • … Alice (2) Alison, R. E. (2) Allen, …
  • … Vienna (1) Appleton, C. E. C. B. (2) …
  • … Austin, C. F. (1) Aveling, E. B. (7) …
  • … Bacon, Booth (1) Badger, E. W. (3) …
  • … Frédéric (1) Baumhauer, E. H. von (2) …
  • … T. B. (1) Bearpark, G. E. (1) …
  • … Beck, John (2) Becker, L. E. (16) …
  • … Joseph (2) Bessey, C. E. (1) …
  • … Bissell, G. P. (1) Black, E. W. (2) …
  • … Lister, Joseph (1) Litchfield, H. E. (60) …

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest

Summary

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.…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … her liking, ‘to keep in memory of the book’ ( letter to H. E. Darwin, 20 March 1871 ). …
  • … a high aesthetic appreciation of beauty ( letter from E. J. Pfeiffer, [before 26 April 1871] ). …
  • … most deep and tender religious feeling’ ( letter from F. E. Abbot, 20 August 1871 ). The Anglican …
  • … who was ‘as good as twice refined gold’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 September [1871] ). …
  • … up to the last with quinine & sherry’ ( letter from H. E. Litchfield to Charles and Emma Darwin …

Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?

Summary

Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … assistance from his son Francis. While visiting his fiancée, Amy Ruck, in Wales, Francis observed …
  • … and if so more places will be created” ( letter to E. A. Darwin, 20 September 1873 ). Erasmus, who …
  • … family being fit for continuous work” ( letter from E. A. Darwin, 25 September [1873] ).  Shortly …
  • … throat like a bulldog” ( letter from L. M. Forster to H. E. Litchfield, 20 February 1873 ). The …
  • … we should feel it a privilege to offer” ( letter from E. F. Lubbock, [before 7 April 1873] ). …

Henrietta Darwin's diary

Summary

Darwin's daughter Henrietta kept a diary for a few momentous weeks in 1871. This was the year in which Descent of Man, the most controversial of her father's books after Origin itself, appeared, a book which she had helped him write. The small…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … expression of emotion (see letters from F. J. Wedgwood to H. E. and C. R. Darwin, [1867–72],  letter …
  • … Wedgwood, [March 1871?], and letter from F. J. Wedgwood to H. E. Darwin, 1 April 1871). She had also …

Darwin and vivisection

Summary

Darwin played an important role in the controversy over vivisection that broke out in late 1874. Public debate was sparked when the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals brought an unsuccessful prosecution against a French physiologist who…

Matches: 11 hits

  • on Virchow for experimenting on the Trichinae’ (letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January [1875] ). …
  • physiologists to present their own petition (letter to T. H. Huxley, 14 January 1875 ). In
  • prospect of animals suffering for science. In a letter to E. Ray Lankester, he wrote: ‘You ask about
  • not sleep to-night’ ( Correspondence vol. 19, letter to E. R. Lankester, 22 March [1871] ). In
  • who produced a new sketch for a petition (letter from T. H. Huxley, [4 April 1875] ). This was
  • of Lushington and Darwins son-in-law Richard Buckley Litchfield. On 11 April, Darwin learned
  • to Down, however, it was decided to draft a formal bill. Litchfield drew up a sketch that was
  • … ‘we wd do whatever else you think best’ (letter to E. H. Stanley, 15 April 1875 ). After further
  • of the documents contain marginal notes and revisions in Litchfields hand. The changes made to the
  • for each offence. This version also contained notes in Litchfields hand for an alternative title
  • expressed their dismay at this alteration (letter from T. H. Huxley, 19 May 1875 , letter from J. …

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

Summary

George Eliot was the pen name of celebrated Victorian novelist Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880). She was born on the outskirts of Nuneaton in Warwickshire and was educated at boarding schools from the age of five until she was 16. Her education ended when she…

Matches: 0 hits

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth century. His journey back in time started when he decided to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an essay on Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas…

Matches: 15 hits

  • … & would please Francis’, he pointed out ( letter from E. A. Darwin, 13 March [1879 ]). …
  • with the when & the where, & the who—’ ( letter from V. H. Darwin, 28 May [1879] ). On the
  • thoughtperfect in every way’ ( letter from E. A. Wheler, 25 March 1879 ). She suggested that
  • own family found his first draft lacked interest. Henrietta Litchfield thought itvery dull,—almost
  • and well, and with little fatigue’ ( letter to G. H. Darwin, 12 July 1879 , and letter from
  • to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 5 June 1879 , and letter to G. H. Darwin, 12 July 1879 ). Darwins
  • Aunt Elizabeth (Bessy) Darwin, and Henrietta and Richard Litchfield to the Lake District for a
  • … … neither cross nor ennuied’ (Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: 125)). Darwin
  • wait for three months. ‘Nothing can be more useless than T.Hs conduct’, Emma Darwin pointed out, …
  • say that he has opposed it’ (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: …
  • to get home ‘& began drumming at once’ (Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [27 August 1879] (DAR
  • … & I may not be equal to the exertion’ ( letter to H. A. Pitman, [13 May 1879] ). In the end, …
  • because it dominated the picture (letter from Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [17 July 1879] (DAR
  • men of science quarrelled (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [6 September 1879] (DAR 219.1: …
  • to their engagement being made public ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 12 October 1879 ). Darwins

Darwin’s observations on his children

Summary

Charles Darwin’s observations on the development of his children, began the research that culminated in his book The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, published in 1872, and his article ‘A biographical sketch of an infant’, published in Mind…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … evangelical stories and tracts. In her old age, Henrietta Litchfield noted that ‘Little Robert & …
  • … family archives, but who possesses it, I do not know.’ (H. E. Litchfield papers, CUL). [71] …

Darwin in letters, 1876: In the midst of life

Summary

1876 was the year in which the Darwins became grandparents for the first time.  And tragically lost their daughter-in-law, Amy, who died just days after her son's birth.  All the letters from 1876 are now published in volume 24 of The Correspondence…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … we have & you are one of the best of all’ ( letter to W. E. Darwin, 11 September [1876] ). …
  • … she confided to Henrietta (letter from Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [31 August 1876] (DAR 219.9: …
  • … herself & is so tender’ (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [13 September 1876] (DAR 210.6 …
  • … completed autobiography (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [13 September 1876] (DAR 210.6: …
  • … horticulturists and agriculturists in France ( letter from E. M. Heckel, 27 December 1876 ). In …

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings

Summary

‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … in April 1874 (see Correspondence vol. 22, letters from E. E. Klein, 14 May 1874 and 10 …
  • … day That ever you were born (letter from E. F. Lubbock, [after 2 July] 1875).   …
  • … plants (Carus trans. 1876a). The German publisher E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagshandlung began to …
  • … Eeles Dresser. ‘The horror was great’, Henrietta Emma Litchfield wrote to her brother Leonard on 14 …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep

Summary

In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to the movements of plants. He investigated the growth pattern of roots and shoots, studying the function of specific organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … him of the soundness of London property ( letter from W. E. Darwin, 13 December [1878] ). ‘This is …
letter