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From J. D. Hooker   14 November 1869

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Describes how the offer of C.B. was made. He declined a knighthood. Murchison and Lyell are trying to get him made Knight Commander of the Star of India, but he does not think there is a chance. The Duke [of Argyll?] might do it, but does not like JDH’s Darwinism.

Next Presidency of Royal Society discussed: all (Brodie, the X Club botanists, et al.) are agreed on Lyell.

Everyone is disappointed with Nature.

What did CD think of "Huxley’s rhapsody on Goethe’s ditto" [Nature 1 (1869): 9–11]?

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Nov 1869
Classmark:  DAR 103: 35—8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6988
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Ages 11-14

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New features for Charles Darwin's 208th birthday

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The website has been updated with an interactive timeline (try it!) and enhanced secondary school resources for ages 11-14. What's more, the full texts of the letters for 1872 are now online for the first time, and a selection of Darwin's…

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Learning Resources

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This section contains learning resources for the following: Ages 7-11 Ages 11-14 Universities There is also an interactive timeline aimed at schools.

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Beagle Voyage

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In 1831, aged 22, Charles Darwin set sail on HMS Beagle for a voyage that would change his life and the way that we understand the world. Find out about the adventures that he had during his five years abroad. 

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  • … Using a range of primary sources, including letters diary entries and contemporary images, the …

Darwin and Religion

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When Darwin published On the Origin of Species, was there a clear cut division between those who supported science and those who supported God? Find out how Darwin’s letters reveal a complex reaction from all sides and a desire from Darwin to keep his…

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  • … Pupils explore the reaction to Darwin’s findings as evidenced through his letters. Activities …

Darwin and slavery

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Darwin was horrified by his encounters with slavery whilst on the Beagle voyage. Learn about the transatlantic slave trade through the context of his experiences.

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  • … Darwin believed that the enslavement of people was barbaric and, like the rest of his family, …

How dangerous was Darwin?

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Discover Darwin’s dilemma and the background leading to the publication of a book that altered the course of scientific thinking. What was the impact of Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species? How were his ideas received in the popular press?

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  • … Pupils explore the events that led to the publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ and …

Darwin’s scientific women

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Darwin exchanged letters with women who were botanists, travellers, observers, writers, and naturalists. Find out about their lives and how they contributed to his research.

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  • … Darwin’s letters shed light on the lives of some otherwise little-known women and reveal how much …

Offer of a lifetime

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When Charles Darwin was 22 he was offered an exciting opportunity to join a sea voyage that would take him around the world. The journey would change Darwin’s life and the course of science - but he nearly didn’t go at all!

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  • … Pupils investigate the chain of letters and events leading up to Darwin going on the Beagle voyage …

Doing Darwin’s Experiments

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Darwin’s curiosity for the natural world meant he carried out experiments throughout his life. Try out his experiments in the class room and compare your results with his findings.

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  • … Darwin wrote to thousands of correspondents and his letters and notebooks show us how he worked. …
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