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Origin

Summary

Darwin’s most famous work, Origin, had an inauspicious beginning. It grew out of his wish to establish priority for the species theory he had spent over twenty years researching. Darwin never intended to write Origin, and had resisted suggestions in 1856…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … species theory together with Wallace’s essay at the Linnean Society of London, Darwin was in need of …
  • … Darwin and Wallace’s papers were published in the Linnean Society’s journal , Joseph Dalton …
  • … manage to restrict the length to just 30 pages of the Linnean Journal . In reply, Hooker provided …
  • … latter & Hooker have taken on themselves to publish it in Linnean Journal, together some notes …
  • … and Hooker’s father-in-law, who clearly had seen the  Linnean Society papers. ‘I sh d . be …
  • … length of his abstract and was relieved to learn from the Linnean Society that he could be a little …
  • … publication of his species theory with Darwin’s by the Linnean Society. ‘I never felt very sure what …

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: 21 hits

  • … D. T. (8) Anthropological Society, Vienna (1) …
  • … Chairman, Committee of Papers, Royal Society of London (1) …
  • … W. J. R. (1) Council, Royal Society of London (1) …
  • … Annie (7) Down Friendly Society (3) …
  • … (1) Edinburgh Royal Medical Society (1) …
  • … Margaret (1) Franklin Society (1) …
  • … Isidore (2) Geological Society (1) …
  • … (3) Kent Church Penitentiary Society (1) …
  • … (21) Kippist, Richard Linnean Society (1) …
  • … (2) Librarian, Royal Geographical Society (1) …
  • … Lindvall, C. A. (2) Linnean Society (23) …
  • … (34) Palaeontographical Society (5) Palmer, …
  • … (3) President and council, Linnean Society (1) …
  • … (1) President, Royal Society (2) President, …
  • … Rawson, Arthur (5) Ray Society (18) …
  • … (1) Royal Geographical Society (8) Royal …
  • … of Sciences (1) Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to …
  • … (1) Secretary, American Philosophical Society (2) …
  • … Wiss., Berlin (1) Secretary, Linnean Society (1) …
  • … Soc. (2) Secretary, Royal Society (7) …
  • … John (54) Undersecretary, Linnean Society (1) …

William Yarrell

Summary

William Yarrell was a London businessman, a stationer and bookseller, who became an expert on British birds and fish, writing standard reference works on both.  He was a member of several science and natural history societies, including the Linnean Society…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and natural history societies, including the Linnean Society, and was a founder member of both the …
  • … his return it was Yarrell who took him as a visitor to the Linnean Society . Yarrell …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

Summary

The year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend and supporter; Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and father of Darwin’s friend…

Matches: 17 hits

  • … his long paper on climbing plants in the  Journal of the Linnean Society , and, arising from this, …
  • … the year, Darwin was elected an honorary member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The year …
  • … was ready to submit his paper on climbing plants to the Linnean Society of London, and though he was …
  • … Darwin’s nomination for the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1864, had staunchly …
  • … of species  ( Origin ), which the Council of the Royal Society had failed to include among the …
  • … scarlet fever), and was wondering whether to send it to the Linnean Society, or to the Royal Society
  • … 7 January [1865] ). After sending the manuscript to the Linnean, he complained to Hooker: ‘For the …
  • … ). An abstract of the paper was read before the Linnean Society on 2 February, and in April …
  • … books that he needed for references, probably from the Linnean Society ( letter to [Richard Kippist …
  • … from which Darwin edited and submitted in October to the Linnean Society for publication in Müller’s …
  • … vol. 13). Before submitting the letters to the Linnean Society, Darwin enlisted the help of …
  • … published his results in the  Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal  (Scott 1867), and Darwin …
  • … the duke of Argyll, had delivered an address to the Royal Society of Edinburgh criticising Origin …
  • … himself in December elected an honorary member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. ‘Here is a really …
  • … Mensch  (Rolle 1866), a study of the development of human society in the light of  Origin  and …
  • … in person, Hooker’s enthusiasm for science and scientific society was evidently undimmed: Frances, …
  • … each other are again full of botany and news of scientific society. Darwin finished the year well …

John Murray

Summary

Darwin's most famous book On the origin of species by means of natural selection (Origin) was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, particularly politics, travel and science, and had published…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … for a joint paper by Darwin and Wallace to be read at the  Linnean Society of London  on 1 July …
  • … intercrossing (Orchids) , which Darwin had prepared for the Linnean Society of London. Murray only …
  • … ), which had first appeared in the  Journal of the Linnean Society of London.  This edition of …

Darwin’s reading notebooks

Summary

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: 22 hits

  • … copy of the catalogue of scientific books in the Royal Society of London (Royal Society of London …
  • … Transact 15  [ Transactions of the   Horticultural Society ] Mr Coxe “view of the …
  • … Transactions [ ?Memoirs of the Caledonian Horticultural Society ]: Asa Gray & Torrey …
  • … [ Journal of the Agricultural and Horticultural   Society of India ; Proceedings of the …
  • … 1837] Transactions of the Caledonian Horticultural Society [ ?Memoirs   of the Caledonian …
  • … Horticult. Transactions [ Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London ].— [DAR …
  • … Journal ] Linnæan Transact [ Transactions of the Linnean Society of   London ] …
  • … Association [ Journal of the Royal Agricultural   Society of England ]. Zoolog. Soc. …
  • … List of Books at end of Catalogue of Royal Soc. [Royal Society of London 1839]— Meckel’s …
  • … 1843–4] already (1844) VI. vols. published Lib. Geological Society (read) Goulds Kangaroos …
  • … History of Greece [Grote 1846–56]. Miss. Martineau Society in America [H. Martineau 1837] …
  • … M rs  Whitby [Whitby 1848] In Library of Entomological Society & many allied Books …
  • … Edinburgh Transactions [ Transactions of the   Botanical Society of Edinburgh ] Youatt on …
  • … Journal of Hort Soc. [ Journal of the Horticultural Society of   London ]  must  be read …
  • … Burtons Life of David Hume [Burton 1846] Society in America. Miss Martineau [H. Martineau …
  • … & Wernerian Transacts— [ Transactions of the   Linnean Society of London  and  Memoirs of …
  • … [Loudon 1838] Lists at end of Royal Soc [Royal Society of London 1839] (List from …
  • … Zoolog. Trans [ Transactions of the Zoological Society of   London ]: up to parts published …
  • … Journal [ Journal of the Royal   Geographical Society ] Asiatic Journ. of London to end …
  • … vols. of Linnæan Transactions [ Transactions   of the Linnean Society of London ]. May 3 …
  • … June 10 th . Linnæan Trans. [ Transactions of the Linnean   Society of London ] to end of Vol: …
  • … *119: 4v.; 119: 6a Transactions of the Linnean Society of London . London. 1791–. [Vol. …

Abstract of Darwin’s theory

Summary

There are two extant versions of the abstract of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. One was sent to Asa Gray on 5 September 1857, enclosed with a letter of the same date (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Asa Gray, 5 September [1857] and enclosure).…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … to the Darwin–Wallace paper read on 1 July 1858 at the Linnean Society of London (see letters to …
  • … ; and letter from Charles Lyell and J. D. Hooker to the Linnean Society, 30 June 1858 ). Since …
  • … published in the  Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Zoology)  3 (1859): 45–62, it …

Darwin in letters, 1864: Failing health

Summary

On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July 1864: ‘the venerable beard gives the look of your having suffered, and … of having grown older’.  Because of poor health, Because of poor health, Darwin…

Matches: 17 hits

  • … forms of  Lythrum salicaria ’) and sent it to the Linnean Society of London, thus completing the …
  • … were also marked by the award to Darwin of the Royal Society’s Copley Medal; he had been nominated …
  • … medal was considered the greatest accolade that the Royal Society could bestow. The announcement of …
  • … (‘Climbing plants’), which Darwin submitted to the Linnean Society in January 1865. Climbers …
  • … of  Origin . He communicated Crüger’s paper to the Linnean Society, in addition to a paper on  …
  • … one of Scott’s papers on the orchid  Oncidium  to the Linnean Society in 1864 (Scott 1864b). …
  • … on the Primulaceae that was communicated by Darwin to the Linnean Society (Scott 1864a); other …
  • … George Bentham expressed in his presidential address to the Linnean Society; Darwin, however, …
  • … that were first presented at the Royal Geographical Society, and later elaborated in letters and …
  • … dispute with officers of the recently formed Anthropological Society of London, many of whose …
  • … between the polygenist views of the Anthropological Society, which for the most part consisted of …
  • … human races, and the monogenist views of the Ethnological Society, most of whose members believed …
  • … Copley medal controversy After the award of the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, Darwin may have …
  • … 7 November [1864] that half the significance of the Royal Society’s award related to the ‘question …
  • … Darwin had earlier revealed his awareness that a Royal Society medal could not be easily won when he …
  • … years. An 1863 letter from the president of the Royal Society, Edward Sabine, to the geologist John …
  • … Sabine’s anniversary address was delivered at the Royal Society on 30 November, when the award of …

Fritz Müller

Summary

Fritz Müller, a German who spent most of his life in political exile in Brazil, described Darwin as his second father, and Darwin's son, Francis, wrote that, although they never met 'the correspondence with Müller, which continued to the close of…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … plants’ in a double issue of the  Journal of the Linnean Society  ( Botany ).  Having now …
  • … sent off the letters for publication in the Journal of the Linnean Society  ( Botany ).  The …
  • … and published in the Transactions of the Entomological society of London in 1879 on Darwin’s …

Alfred Russel Wallace’s essay on varieties

Summary

The original manuscript about varieties that Wallace composed on the island of Gilolo and sent to Darwin from the neighbouring island of Ternate (Brooks 1984) has not been found. It was sent to Darwin as an enclosure in a letter (itself missing), and was…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … is the one published in  Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Zoology)  3 (1859): 45 …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments

Summary

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: 10 hits

  • … condition in  Primula ’, was read before the Linnean Society of London in November 1861, and was …
  • … ), writing up his experiments in December as a paper for the Linnean Society. And three …
  • … Darwin had decided that the case warranted a paper for the Linnean Society ( letter to J. D. Hooker …
  • … Darwin that George Bentham’s presidential address to the Linnean Society on 24 May, in which he held …
  • … butterflies. The paper in which he did so, read before the Linnean Society in November 1861, was …
  • … ). Darwin had managed to appear in person at the Linnean Society to read his  Catasetum …
  • … agreed to referee Jamieson’s paper for the Geological Society ( see letter to A. C. Ramsay, 14 …
  • … Andrew Crombie Ramsay, the new president of the Geological Society, sent Darwin a paper that argued …
  • … been attacked by members of the council of the Geological Society, and there was opposition to its …
  • … put forward in his anniversary address to the Geological Society in February, that the fossil record …

Biogeography

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Observations aboard the Beagle During his five year journey around the world on HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin encountered many different landscapes and an enormous variety of flora and fauna. Some of his most…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … on the germination of seeds. Journal of Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London (Botany) 1 …

Orchids

Summary

Why Orchids? Darwin  wrote in his Autobiography, ‘During the summer of 1839, and, I believe, during the previous summer, I was led to attend to the cross-fertilisation of flowers by the aid of insects, from having come to the conclusion in my…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … his original plan to publish in the Journal of the Linnean Society , Darwin noted, ‘ … yesterday …
  • … material for a paper that he presented himself to the Linnean Society on 3 April 1862, ‘On the three …
  • … the notice you gave of a portion of it at a recent Linnean meeting put us on a new and unexpected …

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: 15 hits

  • … Edwin Ray Lankester, who was up for election to the Linnean Society. The ‘malcontents’ of the …
  • … Mivart was a distinguished zoologist, a fellow of the Royal Society of London, and a secretary of …
  • … respecting codes of conduct and communication in scientific society. Huxley chose journalism, …
  • … was hampered by his position as president of the Royal Society from spurning Mivart in public. …
  • … the chance arose. On 28 January , he sent a note on Royal Society business to Edward Burnett …
  • … had been opened in the village, and a local temperance society had been established by a Down …
  • … 15 July [1875] ). Such visitors from the upper ranks of society could be especially taxing. As Emma …
  • … paper in October and asked Darwin to submit it to the Royal Society on his behalf. Darwin …
  • … had to break the news to the author in 1876 that his Royal Society ambitions had been frustrated.   …
  • … who had been blackballed in a bid for election to the Linnean Society. He was the eldest son of …
  • … ). It was Thiselton-Dyer who nominated Lankester for the Linnean, and he was blackballed on 2 …
  • … in 1875, Lankester had been elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and had been appointed professor …
  • … Hooker, who attributed it to political squabbles within the society, especially among botanists who …
  • … Darwin spent the next weeks canvassing members of the society to support Lankester at the next …
  • … Buckley. Lyell had helped to introduce Darwin to scientific society in London, and offered much …

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

Summary

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: 8 hits

  • … devoted the first part of his presidential address at the Linnean Society of London to British and …
  • … November when Darwin heard that his nomination for the Royal Society’s Copley Medal had been …
  • … Emma Darwin, 11 November [1863] ). The council of the Royal Society voted instead for the geologist …
  • … to win the award was Edward Sabine, President of the Royal Society ( see letter from Edward Sabine …
  • … forms in species of  Linum ’) was read before the Linnean Society. In the paper, Darwin presented …
  • … eventually communicated Scott’s  Primula  work to the Linnean Society in a paper that was read in …
  • … Scotland; he warned Darwin that at the Edinburgh Botanical Society, where he read his orchid paper, …
  • … Disa  and  Herschelea  Darwin communicated to the Linnean Society ( see letter to Roland Trimen, …

Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … and Wallace’s respective theories of organic change at the Linnean Society of London in July 1858 …
  • … Bernhard Tegetmeier, founder and president of the Apiarian Society, provided Darwin with information …
  • … to the reading of the Darwin–Wallace papers at the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858, including a …
  • … in public and that he did not attend the meeting of the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858. The …
  • … theory to appear in one or more papers in the Journal of the Linnean Society. But once he had …
  • … acted as referee for several papers submitted to the Royal Society and served on the society’s …
  • … with Darwin receiving the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society, considered to be the highest …
  • …  (1851 and 1854) ( Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society  15 (1859): xxv). One of the …
  • … require revision since the recent publication by the Linnean Society of the ingenious and original …

Controversy

Summary

The best-known controversies over Darwinian theory took place in public or in printed reviews. Many of these were highly polemical, presenting an over-simplified picture of the disputes. Letters, however, show that the responses to Darwin were extremely…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … presentation of the theory through joint papers at the Linnean Society of London, and presided over …
  • … Letter 2299 — Hooker, J. D. & Lyell, Charles to Linnean Society, 30 June 1858 Hooker …

Natural Selection: the trouble with terminology Part I

Summary

Darwin encountered problems with the term ‘natural selection’ even before Origin appeared.  Everyone from the Harvard botanist Asa Gray to his own publisher came up with objections. Broadly these divided into concerns either that its meaning simply wasn’t…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … from Darwin’s 1844 species essay , that was read to the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858 in the first …

The writing of "Origin"

Summary

From a quiet rural existence at Down in Kent, filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on the transmutation of species, Darwin was jolted into action in 1858 by the arrival of an unexpected letter (no longer extant) from Alfred Russel Wallace outlining a…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … Bernhard Tegetmeier, founder and president of the Apiarian Society, provided Darwin with information …
  • … to the reading of the Darwin–Wallace papers at the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858. It also includes …
  • … in public and that he did not attend the meeting of the Linnean Society on 1 July 1858. After …
  • … to appear in one or more papers in the  Journal of the Linnean Society . But once he had commenced …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex

Summary

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: 5 hits

  • … He asked Bates, who was president of the Entomological Society of London, to raise the question at …
  • … by several other entomologists who had been present at the society’s meeting. Darwin circulated his …
  • … and trimorphic plants’. They were read before the Linnean Society of London on 19 March. In a letter …
  • … and supported Farrer’s candidacy for fellowship of the Linnean Society ( letter from George Bentham …
  • … [23 December 1868] ). Barber’s paper was read before the Linnean Society on 4 February 1869, but …
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