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To F. P. Cobbe   28 November 1872


FPC’s article on consciousness of dogs is best analysis of an animal’s mind CD has read.

Regrets she quotes [Edward?] Jesse.

Since writing Descent, CD has come to believe dogs have a conscience.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frances Power Cobbe
Date:  28 Nov 1872
Classmark:  The Huntington Library (CB 386)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8652

From F. P. Cobbe   28 November [1872]


More stories about dog behaviour.

Author:  Frances Power Cobbe
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Nov [1872]
Classmark:  DAR 161: 187
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8653

To William Main   29 November [1872]


Thanks WM for his letter. CD does not think WM’s principle of [up-tending and down-tending] lines explains the cases of expression of emotions referred to, and, even if it did, the problem would remain as to why the lines should express what WM believes they do.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Main
Date:  29 Nov [1872]
Classmark:  Wellcome Library (MS.7781/10)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8654

From Alpheus Hyatt   [late] November 1872


No need to apologise for not quoting AH’s paper on acceleration and retardation.

Agassiz introduced AH to ammonites and entrusted collection to him. Has followed developmental history of each species and placed them within geological formations. Found evolutionary history of species recapitulated only to a degree in individual development. Stages frequently skipped. Explains why young of later animals are like adults that preceded them. Retardation entirely idea of Edward Drinker Cope. Sends paper to explain it. Acceleration can explain degraded forms. Often like youthful stage with which series began. Often resemble old age of earlier series. Regularity of these series incompatible with natural selection. How can selection account for degraded final stages or for predictability of development? Franz Hilgendorf’s Paludinae from Steinheim lake show same parallelism in development. May be possible to reconcile this with selection. But Trochiformis begins to show degradation in beds where it is most numerous and has largest individuals, i.e., where selection seems to be favouring it. Will work on Steinheim shells this winter.

Author:  Alpheus Hyatt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [late] Nov 1872
Classmark:  DAR 99: 48–55
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8655

From Asa Gray   2 December 1872


CD’s finding the nervous system of Dionaea is wonderful.

Coiling of tendrils of climbing plants.

Thanks CD for the new book [Expression].

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Dec 1872
Classmark:  DAR 165: 182
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8656

From Hubert Airy   3 December 1872


Discusses works lent him by CD: Candolle, Kerner, Braun, Sachs, and CD’s own notes on relative positions of leaves. Plans paper on subject for Royal Society.

Just appointed medical inspector under local government board.

Author:  Hubert Airy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Dec 1872
Classmark:  DAR 159: 23
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8657

To Alpheus Hyatt   4 December [1872]


If decapod does not pass through zoea stage, is this acceleration? If hypothetical adult retained zoea characters, would this be retardation? Believes obliteration of growth stages frequently due to natural selection. Most interesting points in AH’s letter deal with senile characters. CD attributes them to laws of growth not selection. Explains degraded characters as result of readaptation to simpler conditions. Believes no innate tendency to progressive development exists.

Hopes AH visits F. Hilgendorf’s famous deposit [at Steinheim]. A. Weismann [Einfluss der Isolierung (1872)] makes good use of Hilgendorf’s observations.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alpheus Hyatt
Date:  4 Dec [1872]
Classmark:  Maryland Historical Society (Alpheus Hyatt Papers MS 1007)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8658

From W. W. Baxter   4 December 1872



Sends CD description of preparation of extract of belladonna.

Author:  William Walmisley Baxter
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Dec 1872
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 21–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8659

To W. W. Baxter   [after 4 December 1872]


Thanks for information about the Atropia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Walmisley Baxter
Date:  [after 4 Dec 1872]
Classmark:  DAR 249: 70
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8659F

From Mr Topham   5 December 1872


Suggests that Shakespeare meant the blush was unseen, not absent.

Author:  John Topham
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 Dec 1872
Classmark:  Expression 2d ed., p. 355 n. 38
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8660G

To F. J. Furnivall   6 December [1872–3]


Formally declines the vice-presidency of a proposed society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frederick James Furnivall
Date:  6 Dec [1872-3]
Classmark:  The Huntington Library (FU 257)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8662

To C. J. Maynard   7 December [1872–3]


CD sends a better photo for CJM.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Johnson Maynard
Date:  7 Dec [1872-3]
Classmark:  Barbara and Robert Pincus (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8664

From Alpheus Hyatt   8 December 1872


Discusses his theory of acceleration and retardation of development.

Author:  Alpheus Hyatt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Dec 1872
Classmark:  DAR 145: 365
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8665

From Alexander Agassiz   9 December 1872


Thanks for Expression.

Has lost a year’s work in the fire that has devastated Boston.

Author:  Alexander Agassiz
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Dec 1872
Classmark:  G. R. Agassiz ed. 1913, pp. 120–1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8667

From A. J. Munby   9 December 1872


Gives a graphic description of a woman being terrified by mistaking him for a ghost in an old house.

Author:  Arthur Joseph Munby
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Dec 1872
Classmark:  Expression 2d ed., pp. 306–7 n. 21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8667F

To C. L. Dodgson   10 December 1872


Thanks for offer of photograph.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
Date:  10 Dec 1872
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Harcourt Amory collection of Lewis Carroll MS Eng 718.12: 2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8668

From Ernst Haeckel   10 December 1872


Thanks CD for Expression.

Describes work on Die Kalkschwämme and its principal conclusions.

The application of biogenetic law.

Notes variability among calcareous sponges.

Gastrula-like "Gastraea" as ancestor of multicellular animals.

Posits homology between Hydra, Olynthus of calcareous sponges, and initial germ layers of higher animals.

Comments on Lubbock’s Prehistoric times [1865]

and on David Strauss’s Der alte und der neue Glaube [1872].

Author:  Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Dec 1872
Classmark:  DAR 166: 34, 59
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8669

To John Topham   10 December 1872


Thanks JT for his information and hopes to attend to it in any future edition.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Topham
Date:  10 Dec 1872
Classmark:  Bonhams, London (dealers) (14 November 2014)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8669F

From J. V. Carus   10 December 1872


Asks whether CD has any changes to make in a new German edition of Variation, which is to be published next year.

Author:  Julius Victor Carus
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Dec 1872
Classmark:  DAR 161: 88
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8670

From E. A. Darwin   11 December [1872]


Thinks Mr Salt has not understood about their wills and wants to clarify the matter when he has heard from CD.

Author:  Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  11 Dec [1872]
Classmark:  DAR 105: B84–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8671
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