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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To George Howard Darwin   6 February [1869]


John Lubbock regrets GHD did not take the Eton post. JL thinks scientific masters will soon occupy places as high and as profitable as classical masters.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Howard Darwin
Date:  6 Feb [1869]
Classmark:  DAR 210.1: 4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5843

From George Henslow   [after 22 February 1869]


Sends information from a Kent sheep-breeder.

Author:  George Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 22 February1869]
Classmark:  DAR 166: 167
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6522

To John Warburton Robinson   1 February 1869


Statement of sum due from Rev. Robinson "On account of School".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Warburton Robinson
Date:  1 Feb 1869
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6587

From D. Appleton & Co. to Asa Gray   1 February 1869


Statement of sales of U. S. edition of Origin.

Author:  D. Appleton & Co
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  1 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 159: 83
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6588

From S. A. Merrell   1 February 1869


Corrects T. M. Brewer’s statement, cited in the Origin, that the American cuckoo never uses other birds’ nests. [See Origin, 5th ed., p. 266.]

Author:  S. A. Merrell
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 171: 157, 157/1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6589

From Charles Spence Bate   1 February 1869



A case of fighting in crabs (Portunus puber against Carcinus maenas) [see Descent 1: 332].

Author:  Charles Spence Bate
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 82: 71
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6590

To A. R. Wallace   2 February [1869]


CD expressed himself badly. F. Jenkin’s argument was against single variations ever being perpetuated.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  2 Feb [1869]
Classmark:  The British Library Board (Add MS 46434: 168–9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6591

From J. V. Carus   2 February 1869


Sends translation of Mr Steiger’s letter responding to question CD had asked about growth of horns of merino rams.

Author:  Julius Victor Carus
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 86: A45; DAR 161: 69
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6592

To W. C. Tait   2 February [1869]


Discusses case of tailless dogs.

Does not intend to follow up work on variation under domestication.

Asks for specimen of Drosophyllum from Portugal.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Chester Tait
Date:  2 Feb [1869]
Classmark:  Alan R. Tait (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6593

From Andrew Crombie Ramsay   2 February 1869


Lyell says CD is revising what he says about the Weald in the Origin. Asks CD to look at his subaerial denudation views in his book [Physical geology and geography of Great Britain, 2d ed. (1864)].

Author:  Andrew Crombie Ramsay
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 176: 14
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6594

To John Murray   [1–3 February 1869]


Asks JM to grant permission for a French translation of his "Naturalist’s voyage" [Journal of researches].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  [1–3 Feb 1869]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 192–193)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6596

From John Murray   3 February [1869]


Gives consent, which is unnecessary because term of protection has expired, for French translation of Journal of researches.

Is at a loss to know how many copies of F. Müller’s Facts and arguments for Darwin to print.

The printer is ready for copy for a new "edition" of Variation. [Presumably another issue. 2d edition did not appear until 1875.]

Author:  John Murray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Feb [1869]
Classmark:  DAR 171: 363
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6597

To A. C. Ramsay   3 February [1869]


Received and read ACR’s Physical geology. Places him at head of the subaeria denudationists. Unfortunately CD confounded William Whitaker’s article with ACR’s views and gave Whitaker credit for first producing the evidence. Will rectify it now. Has eliminated the rubbish he wrote on the Weald and will add a paragraph on importance of subaerial denudation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Andrew Crombie Ramsay
Date:  3 Feb [1869]
Classmark:  DAR 261.9: 4 (EH 88205977)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6598

From James Croll   4 February 1869


Argues for great age of earth before the Cambrian period. Opposes measuring age from secular cooling. Opposes Sir William Thomson. Lyell’s error on secular cooling.

Thanks for Moseley citation ["On the mechanical possibility of the descent of glaciers", Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 17 (1869): 202–8].

In Edinburgh he feels out of touch with latest developments.

Author:  James Croll
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 161: 263
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6599

To William Bernhard Tegetmeier   5 February [1869]


Repeats request for information on colours of plumage of poultry breeds and asks for WBT’s facts on proportions of sexes.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  5 Feb [1869]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6600

To J. V. Carus   5 February 1869


Thanks JVC for his information (from two correspondents) on the rate of growth of merino rams’ horns.

CD has been revising Origin [5th ed.]. Has found a good deal to alter.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Julius Victor Carus
Date:  5 Feb 1869
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesiz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 39–40)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6601

From Frederik Anthony von Hartsen   5 February 1869


Believes that species or genus may have originated more than once from separate ancestors, i.e., polyphyletically.

Discusses relation of CD’s theory to religion. Has written popular account of CD’s theory in Dutch [Darwin en de Godsdienst (1869)].

Author:  Frederik Anthony von Hartsen
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 166: 114
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6602

To James Croll   6 February [1869]


Consoling to CD that JC gives "a little more age to the world".

Cites article by Henry Moseley ["On the mechanical possibility of the descent of glaciers", Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 17 (1869): 202–8].

Mentions article by A. R. Clarke on shape of the globe.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Croll
Date:  6 Feb [1869]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6603

From G. H. Darwin   6 February 1869


Has inquired about magnetic storms. Any effect that could be produced by the sun’s energy in retarding the cooling of the earth would be utterly insignificant.

Tells of his visit to Eton.

Is uncertain about next steps to take for a legal career.

Author:  George Howard Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 210.2: 6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6604

From C. F. Claus   6 February 1869


Pleased by CD’s good opinion and offer to provide material. Discusses work he would do on cirripedes.

Moritz Wagner’s views on migration of species;

his doubts about Fritz Müller’s views on developmental stages of Crustacea.

Author:  Carl Friedrich Claus
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Feb 1869
Classmark:  DAR 161: 177
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6605
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List of correspondents


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: 16 hits

  • … Émile (8) Alice (2) Alison, R. E. …
  • … (1) Allen, Thomas (2) Allman, G. J. …
  • … (1) Appleton, C. E. C. B. (2) Appleton, T. G. …
  • … (5) Austin, A. D. (2) Austin, C. F. …
  • … (7) Axon, W. E. A. (2) Aylmer, I. E. …
  • … (3) Baldwin, J. D. (2) Balfour, F. M. …
  • … (1) Baranoff, W. (2) Barber, M. E. …
  • … (1) Barnard, Anne (2) Barnes, K. S. …
  • … (1) Barrois, J. H. (2) Bartlett, A. D. …
  • … (1) Batalin, A. F. (2) Bate, C. S. …
  • … (1) Bates, Frederick (2) Bates, H. W. …
  • … (1) Baumhauer, E. H. von (2) Baxter, E. B. …
  • … (3) Beale, L. S. (2) Beall, T. B. (1 …
  • … B. (1) Beck, John (2) Becker, L. E. …
  • … (3) Beger, Karl (2) Behrens, Frederick …
  • … (1) Bell, Robert (b) (2) Bell, Thomas …

Darwin The Collector


Look at nature more closely and create and record your own natural collections.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities provide an introduction to Charles Darwin, how and why he collected so many specimens …

Detecting Darwin


Who was Charles Darwin? What is he famous for? Why is he still important?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Pupils act as Darwin detectives, exploring clues about Darwin’s life and work. No prior knowledge …

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: 5 hits

  • … Stoke’s Library 1 Cambridge. Library 2 Royal Coll of Surgeons [DAR *119 …
  • … de l’Homme,” by Dr. Pierquin, published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4   …
  • … 1829]; read Letter to M. Therry [Broughton 1832]— a 2 d  Edit preparing in 1841.— Lesson …
  • … of habits of birds. Temminck Manuel D’ornithologie. 2 d  Edit: Introduction on migration of …
  • … Ker Porter’s Travels in Caucasus [R. K. Porter 1821–2] praised by Silliman poor Cyclop. of …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions


For such an iconic work, the text of Origin was far from static. It was a living thing that Darwin continued to shape for the rest of his life, refining his ‘one long argument’ through a further five English editions.  Many of his changes were made in…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … edition published, 1872   1 st to 2 nd editions I have …
  • … the voids caused by the action of His laws.” ( Origin 2d ed, p. 481).   2 nd …
  • … to a letter to Asa Gray he had yet to start it on 28 January, but on 2 February 1860 he told …
  • … “Origin” for the first time, for I am correcting for a 2 nd . French Edition; & upon my life, …

Dates of composition of Darwin's manuscript on species


Many of the dates of letters in 1856 and 1857 were based on or confirmed by reference to Darwin’s manuscript on species (DAR 8--15.1, inclusive; transcribed and published as Natural selection). This manuscript, begun in May 1856, was nearly completed by…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … nor was it recorded in Darwin's ‘Journal’. Chapter 2 is not extant but was recorded in Darwin& …
  • … [1] (not extant) 2 13 October 1856 …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick


Darwin made a famous comment about parallels between changes in language and species change. Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Leeds University, talks about the importance of the development of language to Darwin, what…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … to Darwin, how did language begin? 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? And …
  • … sense, a more developed moral sense, and so forth. 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? …

Darwin And Evolution


What is evolution? What did Darwin discover and how did he come to his conclusions?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities give an introduction to Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Specimens brought …

Darwin's Fantastical Voyage


Learn about Darwin's adventures on his epic journey.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … These activities explore Darwin’s life changing voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Using letters home, …

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: 7 hits

  • … his wife sent birthday greetings and a photograph of their 2-year-old son named Darwin, who, they …
  • … materialism”’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 2 June 1879 ]). As one of Darwin’s most ardent …
  • … other than Darwin’s sister Caroline (who was around 2 years old at the time of Erasmus’s death). …
  • … that plants were ‘mere machines’, reminding Francis on 2 June that he had long thought that …
  • … for certain movements’ ( second letter to Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ). Sachs guarded …
  • … for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first letter) . Much of the time, however, …
  • … their ‘tremendous journey’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [2 August 1879] ). The journey proved more …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments


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: 7 hits

  • … to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] ). However, Hooker, at the …
  • … idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not until 25 …
  • … abstract of the paper was read before the Linnean Society on 2 February, and in April Darwin wrote …
  • … 1867), and Darwin summarised them in  Variation  2: 106–7, concluding, ‘it follows from Mr. Scott …
  • … and professional seniority ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ); but Darwin’s feelings …
  • … in healing this ugly breach’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ), Darwin seems to have …
  • … of weather-forecasting ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 May 1865 and nn. 2 and 5), and he may …

Home learning: 7-11 years


Do try this at home! Support your children’s learning by downloading our free and fun activities for those aged between 7-11 and 11-14 years, using Darwin’s letters.  

Matches: 1 hits

  • … More Detecting Darwin activities 2 Learn about Darwin and the Beagle …

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: 9 hits

  • … in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering about the …
  • … tomorrow to Wurzburg,’ Darwin wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 2 June , ‘& work by myself will be …
  • … [before 17 July 1878] ), ‘a strong horizontal axis about 2 feet long which goes round by clockwork …
  • … animal instinct and intelligence. ‘Frank’s son, nearly 2 years old (& we think much of his …
  • … more expertly. ‘I conclude that a child—just under 2 years is inferior in intellect to a monkey.’ …
  • … & a baby in your house!’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 2 September [1878] ). More …
  • … seems to me quite ridiculous’ ( letter to John Price, 2 April [1878] ). When a wealthy businessman …
  • … was ‘deeply gratified’, remarking to Skertchly on 2 March : ‘It is the greatest possible …
  • … that such checks had been in action during the last 2 or 3 centuries, or even for a shorter time in …

Satire of FitzRoy's Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, by John Clunies Ross. Transcription by Katharine Anderson


[f.146r Title page] Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2nd 3rd and Appendix Volumes of the First / Edition Written / for and in the name of the Author of those / Volumes By J.C. Ross. / Sometime Master of a…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2 nd 3 rd and Appendix Volumes of …
  • … many Kentledge pigs – and almost as heavy – limited the 2 nd to 700 pages of easily readable type …
  • … for commanding under it an H.C. Cruizer [ vf.147v p.2 ] of considerably greater tonnage – and …
  • … making a quick passage to the Southward. In the 2 nd that the expression “sailed from …
  • … in singing ^of^ jovial sea songs even on Wednesdays *[2] [ f.158r p.23 ] instead of the …

Interview with Emily Ballou


Emily Ballou is a writer of novels and screenplays, and a prize-winning poet. Her book The Darwin Poems, which explores aspects of Darwin’s life and thoughts through the medium of poetry, was recently published by the University of Western Australia Press.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … some of these poems today, and? 2. The idea of writing about Darwin …

Interview with Tim Lewens


Dr Tim Lewens is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Organisms and artifacts (2004), which examines the language and arguments for design in biology and philosophy, and of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … you for the flattering introduction. 2. The unusual role Darwin plays today …

Interview with Pietro Corsi


Pietro Corsi is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford. His book Evolution Before Darwin is due to be published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Date of interview: 17 July 2009 Transcription 1: Introduction …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … surrounding evolutionary theories. 2. The situation in France …

Interview with John Hedley Brooke


John Hedley Brooke is President of the Science and Religion Forum as well as the author of the influential Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 1991). He has had a long career in the history of science and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Paul. It’s a very great pleasure. 2. Victorian spiritualism and the …

Interview with Randal Keynes


Randal Keynes is a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and the author of Annie’s Box (Fourth Estate, 2001), which discusses Darwin’s home life, his relationship with his wife and children, and the ways in which these influenced his feelings about…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … which came to my mind as I read his book. 2. Darwin's influences …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions


Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, with full debunking below...

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, …
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