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To Robert Swinhoe   [September 1866]


Hooker’s lecture to BAAS ["Insular floras"] was capital,

but hears Wallace’s paper [Address to Anthropology Section, Rep. BAAS 36 (1866): 93–4] was best.

Pleased RS continues zealous work for natural history.

CD considers the report that N. American antelopes’ horns are intermediate between hollow and solid horns of ruminants to be one of the more curious facts he has lately heard of with respect to higher animals [C. A. Canfield, "On the habits of the prongbuck", Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. (1866): 105–11].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Swinhoe
Date:  [Sept 1866]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 329r
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5202

To Lucy Caroline Wedgwood   [before 25 September 1866]


Asks her to see whether the flowers or leaves of Erica massoni are noted as glutinous in the Botanical Magazine.

Inquires about the pods of peony: are they brilliantly coloured and do birds eat them?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Lucy Caroline Wedgwood; Lucy Caroline Harrison
Date:  [before 25 Sept 1866]
Classmark:  CUL (Add 4251: 336)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5203

From J. D. Hooker   [4 September 1866]



On his "Insular floras" lecture.

Huxley’s success as President of Section.

D. W. R. Grove’s address. Grove left Darwinism to JDH after "sounding the charge".

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [4 Sept 1866]
Classmark:  DAR 102: 100–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5206

From Julius von Haast   8 September 1866


Thanks CD for his efforts on behalf of JvH’s Royal Society candidacy.

Is at work on a large-scale map of the Southern Alps [of New Zealand].

The ever-growing goldfields and their effect on the country.

Author:  John Francis Julius (Julius) von Haast
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 166: 10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5207

To Charles Lyell   8[–9] September [1866]


Disappointed to put off CL’s visit because of illness of CD’s sister [Susan], but hopes to see him in October.

Thanks for lending pamphlet [L. Agassiz, Geology of the Amazons]. Agassiz has written "wild nonsense".

Refers to a translation of Pictet and Humbert’s "capital" paper on fossil fish ["Recent researches on the fossil fishes of Mount Lebanon", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 3d ser. 18 (1866): 237].

Hooker’s lecture at BAAS Nottingham meeting.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  8[–9] Sept [1866]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.319)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5208

From W. R. Grove   9 September 1866


Sends a "remarkable" enclosure [missing], evidently by a working man, which will interest CD as "shewing that ideas are spread".

Author:  William Robert Grove
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 165: 232
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5209

To Asa Gray   10 September [1866]


L. Agassiz’s evidence [for glaciation of America] is very weak.

Thanks AG for arranging for American edition of Variation, but doubts that the book will be successful.

Has found no differences in pollen of Rhamnus so cannot conjecture whether it is dimorphic.

The common oxlip of England is certainly a hybrid between the primrose and the cowslip whereas Primula elatior is a good species.

Reports experiments on the relative vigour of seedlings from cross- and self-fertilised plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  10 Sept [1866]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (92)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5210

From W. B. Tegetmeier   12 September 1866


Has had the blocks cut as requested and forwards the proofs.

Encloses article on habits of jungle fowl.

Author:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 178: 75
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5211

To W. B. Tegetmeier   14 September [1866]


Blocks for Variation are much improved. WBT deserves membership in Zoological Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  14 Sept [1866]
Classmark:  Archives of The New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection) (Tegetmeier 96)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5212

To Albert Gaudry   17 September [1866]


Thanks AG for Considérations générales [sur les animaux fossiles] de Pikermi [1866]. The observations on the various intermediate fossil forms seem most valuable.

AG does not fully understand what CD means by "the struggle for existence, or concurrence vitale".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Albert-Jean (Albert) Gaudry
Date:  17 Sept [1866]
Classmark:  Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan (Library: Fondo Gaudry b. 7, fasc. 28, doc. 1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5213

From J. D. Hooker   19 September 1866



[N. C.?] Seringe’s article [unspecified] has come safely.

Feels deeply at CD’s distress [Susan Darwin is dying].

Drosera will go in a day or two.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  19 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 102: 103
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5214

From George Warde Norman   20 September 1866


Sends a paper, by the wife of the local curate, on the habits of animals.

Author:  George Warde Norman
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 172: 74
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5215

To Fritz Müller   25 September [1866]


Fertilisation in orchids: Friedrich Hildebrand’s paper.


Climbing plants.

Agassiz’s attempts to eliminate all Darwinian views.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Date:  25 Sept [1866]
Classmark:  British Library (Loan MS 10 no 9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5216

To J. D. Hooker   25 September [1866]



Susan Darwin still lives, but is dying.

Requests an Erica massoni to compare with Drosera.

On L. Agassiz’s "astonishing" view that Amazon Valley was filled with gigantic glacier. Asa Gray says LA is determined to cover the globe with glaciers in order to destroy "Darwinian views".

Excellent review of A. Murray [The geographical distribution of mammals] in Gardeners’ Chronicle [(1866): 902].

Frankland’s Royal Institution lecture ["On the source of muscular power" Not. Proc. R. Inst. G. B. 4 (1862–6): 661–85].

Wallace’s paper.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  25 Sept [1866]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 300
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5217

From George Bentham   25 September 1866


Replies to CD’s two memoranda, GB explains: 1. That he never said thistles do not produce seeds, but rather that the infinite majority of new plants are propagated from buds

2. That book-borrowing rules of the Linnean Library are not so stringent as the Librarian makes out.

Author:  George Bentham
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 160: 158
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5218

To William Bowman   26 September [1866]


Thanks WB for his paper ["Address in surgery", Br. Med. J. (1866): 186–97, read at British Medical Association annual meeting, 9 Aug 1866].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bowman, 1st baronet
Date:  26 Sept [1866]
Classmark:  Roy Davids Ltd (1996)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5219

To George Bentham   27 September [1866]


His memory deceived him about GB’s statement [on propagation of thistles].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Bentham
Date:  27 Sept [1866]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Bentham letters: 705)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5220

From Thomas Francis Jamieson   27 September 1866


Sends his paper ["On the glacial phenomena of Caithness", Q. J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 22 (1866): 261–81], which shows glaciation under marine conditions in Scotland.

Author:  Thomas Francis Jamieson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 168: 46
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5221

From J. D. Hooker   28 September 1866



Drosera and Erica massoni have been sent.

Had heard of Agassiz’s theory but not that CD’s theory had raised it.

JDH wrote the article on A. Murray.

Frankland’s lecture too much for him.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 102: 106–7
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5222

From Francis Trevelyan Buckland   29 September 1866


Sends copy of Land and Water, a journal he now edits. Has quit the Field. Asks CD to patronise his columns with queries, as other zoologists do.

Author:  Francis Trevelyan (Frank) Buckland
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  29 Sept 1866
Classmark:  DAR 160: 360
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5223
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Darwin’s queries on expression


When Darwin resumed systematic research on emotions around 1866, he began to collect observations more widely and composed a list of queries on human expression. A number of handwritten copies were sent out in 1867 (see, for example, letter to Fritz Muller…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Gray, Asa 9 May [1869] [Alexandria, Egypt] …
  • … Gray, Jane 9 May [1869] [Alexandria, Egypt] …
  • … Gray, Asa 8 & 9 May 1869 Florence, Italy (about …

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots


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: 4 hits

  • … that it was ‘dry as dust’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 9 September 1879 ). He was also unsatisfied …
  • … which is crowned with glory’ ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 February 1879 ). The botanist and …
  • … ). Darwin welcomed Krause’s suggestion, but warned him on 9 June not to ‘expend much powder & …
  • … (Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [27 August 1879] (DAR 219.9: 201)). Celebrity and honours …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex


The quantity of Darwin’s correspondence increased dramatically in 1868 due largely to his ever-widening research on human evolution and sexual selection.Darwin’s theory of sexual selection as applied to human descent led him to investigate aspects of the…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … Darwin asked Murray to intervene, complaining on 9 January , ‘M r . Dallas’ delay … is …
  • … on the auditory organs of Orthoptera and Coleoptera on 9 September . Darwin annotated a letter …
  • … from the south of France to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood on 9 Novembe r, describing sphinx moths that …
  • … direct result of natural selection ( Variation  2: 185–9). Wallace seized upon this point in a …
  • … Katherine ( letter from C. M. Hawkshaw to Emma Darwin, 9 February [1868] ). Darwin’s eldest son, …
  • … from Fritz Müller, 22 April 1868 , 17 June 1868 , 9 September 1868 , and 31 October 1868 …
  • … A different order of pride was expressed on 9 November by Ernst Haeckel on the birth of his son …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments


1862 was a particularly productive year for Darwin. This was not only the case in his published output (two botanical papers and a book on the pollination mechanisms of orchids), but more particularly in the extent and breadth of the botanical experiments…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … excited Darwin, who exclaimed to Gray ( letter to Asa Gray, 9 August [1862] ), ‘I am almost stark …
  • … , whether the Book will sell’ ( letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862] ). To his son, William, …
  • … better fun’ than species ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1862] ), he responded to the …
  • … active young wolves’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 9 October 1862 ). Darwin had managed to …
  • … to read any paper or speak’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 [April 1862] ). A visit in October from …
  • … me go away for an hour after dinner & retire to my room at 9 o clock I do not think it would …
  • … as true as gospel, so it must be true’ ( to J. D. Hooker, 9 May [1862] ). the real …

Books on the Beagle


The Beagle was a sort of floating library.  Find out what Darwin and his shipmates read here.

Matches: 2 hits

  • … the  Narrative  (2: 18). CD, in his letter to Henslow, 9 [September 1831] , discussing the …
  • … Desaulses de.  Voyage autour du monde . . . 1817–20.  9 vols., 4 vols. plates, Paris, 1824–44. …

Francis Galton


Galton was a naturalist, statistician, and evolutionary theorist. He was a second cousin of Darwin’s, having descended from his grandfather, Erasmus. Born in Birmingham in 1822, Galton studied medicine at King’s College, London, and also read mathematics…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … into an entirely new province of knowledge’ ( 9 December 1859 ). He soon became interested in …

Women’s scientific participation


Observers | Fieldwork | Experimentation | Editors and critics | Assistants Darwin’s correspondence helps bring to light a community of women who participated, often actively and routinely, in the nineteenth-century scientific community. Here is a…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L to Darwin, [8 & 9 May 1869] Jane Loring Gray, …
  • … Letter 6453 - Langton, E. to Wedgwood, S. E., [9 November 1868] Darwin’s nephew, …
  • … 5756 - Langton, E. & C. to Wedgwood S. E., [after 9 November 1868] Darwin’s …
  • … Letter 7433  - Wedgwood,  F. to Darwin, [9 January 1871] Darwin’s brother-in-law, …
  • … Letter 8153  - Darwin to  Darwin, W. E., [9 January 1872] Darwin thanks his son …

Darwin & Glen Roy


Although Darwin was best known for his geological work in South America and other remote Beagle destinations, he made one noteworthy attempt to explain a puzzling feature of British geology.  In 1838, two years after returning from the voyage, he travelled…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … field guide to Glen Roy: To Charles Lyell, 9 August [1838] To Charles Lyell, …

Darwin in letters, 1869: Forward on all fronts


At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  Origin. He may have resented the interruption to his work on sexual selection and human evolution, but he spent forty-six days on the task. Much of the…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … by his perfectibility principle (Nägeli 1865, pp. 28–9). In further letters, Hooker tried to provide …
  • … hatred—’ ( from Asa Gray and J. L. Gray, 8 and 9 May [1869] ). James Crichton-Browne and …
  • … of the soil ( letter to  Gardeners’ Chronicle , 9 May [1869] ). In March, Darwin received …
  • … I do not care to follow him’ ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 9 October 1869 ). Farrer ventured to …
  • … on summit of a mountain.—’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 9 July [1869] ).  Earlier in the year, …

Capturing Darwin’s voice: audio of selected letters


On a sunny Wednesday in June 2011 in a makeshift recording studio somewhere in Cambridge, we were very pleased to welcome Terry Molloy back to the Darwin Correspondence Project for a special recording session. Terry, known for his portrayal of Davros in Dr…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Beagle voyage, to a letter to C. A. Kennard written on 9 January 1882 , only shortly before …

Jane Gray


Jane Loring Gray, the daughter of a Boston lawyer, married the Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1848 and evidence suggests that she took an active interest in the scientific pursuits of her husband and his friends. Although she is only known to have…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … (letter from Asa Gray and J. L. Gray, 8 and 9 May 1869 ) Darwin cited Gray’s …
  • … book shows that they spent 14s on a backgammon board on 9 November 1868, a few days after leaving …

Darwin in letters, 1863: Quarrels at home, honours abroad


At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of The variation of animals and plants under domestication, anticipating with excitement the construction of a hothouse to accommodate his increasingly varied botanical experiments…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … my teeth at my own folly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] ). After his venture into the …
  • … … who dare speak out’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] ). The others listed were himself, …
  • … to Asa Gray, 20 April [1863] , letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] , and memorandum from G. H …

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution


The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex’.  Descent was the culmination of over three decades of observations and reflections on…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … ‘is the bane of existence!’ ( letter to William Ogle, 9 November 1870 ). Researching …
  • … demons and spirits were white ( letter from W. W. Reade, 9 November 1870 ). Keen for more …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute


In May 1865 a dispute arose between John Lubbock and Charles Lyell when Lubbock, in his book Prehistoric times, accused Lyell of plagiarism. The dispute caused great dismay among many of their mutual scientific friends, some of whom took immediate action…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Lyell telling him about the letter to the Athenæum . 9  In the same letter, Darwin …
  • … about C. Lyell 1863a are discussed in Bynum 1984, pp. 154–9. 7. See Correspondence …
  • … letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] and n. 7. 9. See Correspondence vol. 11, …
  • … 11, letter from J. D. Hooker, [24 March 1863] and n. 9. In his published review, Lubbock wrote …
  • … Emma Darwin to Henrietta Emma Darwin, [1 June 1865] (DAR 219.9: 28). 24. See the …

Photograph album of German and Austrian scientists


The album was sent to Darwin to mark his birthday on 12 February 1877 by the civil servant Emil Rade, and contained 165 portraits of German and Austrian scientists. The work was lavishly produced and bound in blue velvet with metal embossing. Its ornate…

Matches: 0 hits

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep


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: 3 hits

  • … Cactus’, he wrote to William Turner Thiselton-Dyer on 9 May. He later noted that in many Cacteae the …
  • … about the radicles’, he wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 9 May . ‘The apex is sensitive, & instead …
  • … ‘I am what may be called a rich man’, he replied on 9 December, ‘on the other hand I have 5 sons …

Six things Darwin never said – and one he did


Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly attributed to Darwin that never flowed from his pen.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly …

Vivisection: first sketch of the bill


Strictly Confidential Mem: This print is only a first sketch. It is being now recast with a new & more simple form – but the substance of the proposed measure may be equally well seen in this draft. R.B.L. | 2 586 Darwin and vivisection …

Matches: 3 hits

  • … to be killed after painful experiments. “ 9. —Unlicensed persons making painful …
  • … liable to penalties of Cruelty to Animals Act. 9.—Any person not holding a licence under …
  • … and restrictions contained in sections numbered 8, 9, 10, 11, of the said act. (Signed) …

Darwin’s reading notebooks


In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to read in Notebook C (Notebooks, pp. 319–28). In 1839, these lists were copied and continued in separate notebooks. The first of these reading notebooks (DAR 119…

Matches: 21 hits

  • … (read) Smellie Philosophy of Zoology [Smellie 1790–9]. Fleming Ditto [Fleming 1822] …
  • … Read Aristotle to see whether any of my views are ancient 9 Study with profound care …
  • … read Audubons Ornithol: Biography [Audubon 1831–9]— 4 Vols. well worth reading [DAR …
  • … de leurs genres, par M. Latreille, 1 vol. 8vo. 9 s . [Latreille 1825] Mémoire sur la …
  • … [Fabricius 1603]. referred to by Hallam [Hallam 1837–9] D r . Lord has written some new …
  • … 1842] Coleridge. Literary Remains [Coleridge 1836–9] Inconsistency of Human wishes. …
  • … and cheaper Edition, with Plates and Woodcuts. Post 8vo., 9 s . 6 d . [Knapp] 1838] Read …
  • … Duke of Wellington’s Dispatches [Wellesley 1834–9] Carlyles Oliver Cromwell [Carlyle 1845] …
  • … Knight’s facts on dogs instincts Veterinary. vol: 9. p. 229. “A comparative view of the form …
  • … 6. Birds of the Game kind [Jardine 1834b]. 9. Columbidæ (Pigeons.) [Selby 1835] 11. …
  • … vol. Ludlows Memoirs [Ludlow 1698–9] Memoirs of Plumer Ward by Hon …
  • … to the Study of Insects 1868. U. States [Packard 1868–9] (an excellent large Book) [DAR …
  • … of W. S. Landors Imaginary Conversations [Landor 1824–9]— very poor Sir J 57  Browne’s …
  • … 1831] 4 vols 25 Phillips Geology [J. Phillips 1837–9] Lardners 2 nd  vol March 16 …
  • … Miscellaneous Works & several reviews [Carlyle 1838–9] Nov 8 th  Murchison Silurian …
  • … Decemb. Several more of Carlyles Essays [Carlyle 1838–9]— —— Skimmed Ordinaire on Volcanos …
  • … are some few references at end of Hallam [Hallam 1837–9]) Feb. 12 th  Charlsworths Journal …
  • … 4 th . Hallam’s Hist. Lit. 4 vols. [Hallam 1837–9]— good 15 th  Failed in reading Dryden …
  • … Shelley says is victorious & decisive 72 Octob. 9 th  Lindley’s Theory of Hort. …
  • … of Botany ]. 2. vols. 1801 to 1806. extracted. 9 th  Müllers Physiology [Müller 1837–42] 2 …
  • … 24 th . Smellie’s Philos. of Nat. Hist. [Smellie 1790–9] (one vol) d[itt]o— May 20 th . …

Darwin & coral reefs


The central idea of Darwin's theory of coral reef formation, as it was later formulated, was that the islands were formed by the upward growth of coral as the Pacific Ocean floor gradually subsided. It overturned previous ideas and would in itself…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … he arrived at his coral reef theory. Autobiography , pp. 98-9 No statement of Darwin' …
  • … the channels and lagoons of the islands ( Narrative  2: 38-9), so it may be presumed that he was …
  • … wants to be sure they will visit the South Sea Islands:  [9 September 1831] . The first …
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