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Darwin in letters, 1882: Nothing too great or too small


In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the previous October, and for the first time in decades he was not working on another book. He remained active in botanical research, however. Building on his recent studies in plant…

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  • In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the
  • for scientific colleagues or their widows facing hardship. Darwin had suffered from poor health
  • … ‘I feel a very old man, & my course is nearly run’ ( letter to Lawson Tait, 13 February 1882 ) …
  • of his scientific friends quickly organised a campaign for Darwin to have greater public recognition
  • Botanical observation and experiment had long been Darwins greatest scientific pleasure. The year
  • fertility of crosses between differently styled plants ( letter from Fritz Müller, 1 January 1882
  • working at the effects of Carbonate of Ammonia on roots,’ Darwin wrote, ‘the chief result being that
  • for some hours in a weak solution of C. of Ammonia’. Darwins interest in root response and the
  • London on 6 and 16 March, respectively. In January, Darwin corresponded with George John
  • François Marie Glaziou (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter from Arthur de Souza Corrêa, 20
  • quite untirable & I am glad to shirk any extra labour’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 6 January
  • probably intending to test its effects on chlorophyll ( letter to Joseph Fayrer, 30 March 1882 ). …
  • we know about the life of any one plant or animal!’ ( letter to Henry Groves, 3 April 1882 ). He
  • of seeing the flowers & experimentising on them’ ( letter to J. E. Todd, 10 April 1882 ). …
  • affects my heart’ ( letter to Henry Groves, 3 April 1882 ). Earthworms and evolution
  • Murray, carried an anonymous article on the book in January 1882. The reviewers assessment was
  • Anthony Rich, he shared several of his sonsachievements. Leonard had been appointed to observe the
  • is always easier to write than to speak,’ she wrote to Leonard, ‘& so though I shall see you so
  • … & have been able to be to him’ (letter from Emma Darwin to Leonard Darwin, [21? April 1882] (DAR

3.8 Leonard Darwin, interior photo


< Back to Introduction Leonard Darwin, who created the distinctive image of his father sitting on the verandah at Down House, also portrayed him as a melancholy philosopher. His head, brightly lit from above, emerges from the enveloping darkness; he…

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  • … &lt; Back to Introduction Leonard Darwin, who created the distinctive image of his father
  • is here an obvious relationship to Oulesss painting of Darwin, and to the photographs taken by
  • on a boys mind?’ This was written as late as 1929, when Leonard was himself nearly eighty, but it
  • descriptions of him. At the same time, photographs of Darwin taken by his family and friends have an
  • Magazine. Desmond and Moore, in their biography of Darwin, captioned itabout 1874’, while
  • above, it would need to have been early in that year. A letter which Leonard wrote to his father
  • … (unspecified, and now absent) might refer to the portrait of Darwin, although a pencilled note on
  • he took it in 1878.   It was this photograph which Leonard himself sent to Anthony Rich, a
  • and illustrator, created a bold wood-engraved image of Darwins head and shoulders from Leonards
  • our one great prophet in the region of facts’. Leonards image was also copied in a drawing which
  • Otto Zacharias in the Illustrirte Zeitung of Leipzig in 1882 . Francis Darwin lent the
  • DAR 186.34 (DCP-LETT-11484), Leonard Darwins letter to his father, enclosing unidentified
  • version in Illustrirte Zeitung no. 2026 (29 April 1882), DAR 216.82. Darwin Centenary: The
  • Cambridge University Press, 1909), p. 47, no. 252. Richs letter to the Darwin family mentioning

Darwin’s Photographic Portraits


Darwin was a photography enthusiast. This is evident not only in his use of photography for the study of Expression and Emotions in Man and Animal, but can be witnessed in his many photographic portraits and in the extensive portrait correspondence that…

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  • Darwin was a photography enthusiast. This is evident not only in his use of
  • portraits and in the extensive portrait correspondence that Darwin undertook throughout his lifetime
  • was jokingly lamenting his role as an intermediary for Darwin and his correspondents from around the
  • of friends and relatives was not a pursuit unique to Darwin (the exchange of photographic images was
  • reinforced his experimental and scientific network. Darwins Portraits Darwin sat for
  • famous photographers to studio portraitists looking to sell Darwins image to the masses. Between
  • in nineteenth-century photography. Darwins first photo-chemical experience
  • This particular daguerreotype is unique in terms of Darwins collection of photographsit is the
  • exchanged, but rather was an object of display placed on a Darwin family mantlepiece. The image
  • to the copy he had sent five years previously in his 1860 letter to Hooker , Darwin exclaimed
  • gaze. These photographs were rarely included in a Darwin letter, save for perhaps a very few close
  • Tommy. The man behind the camera was Darwins younger son, Leonard Darwin, who, six years later, …
  • ImageCharles Darwin on his horseTommy’, 1868, Leonard Darwin, Dar 225:116, ©Cambridge University
  • taken for public consumption. Responding to  a letter from a German translatorAdolph
  • which you do me the honour to wish to possess.” As the letter and photograph had to travel from Down
  • and Fry return to make his  carte , he asked his son, Leonard, to produce a more private image. …
  • was also made as a memento for both Darwin and for Leonard. Leonard was soon to depart on his long
  • a postmans bag. ImageCharles Darwin, 1878, Leonard Darwin, Dar 225:119, ©Cambridge
  • but well-kept garden. It was on this new veranda that Leonard took another portrait of his father, …

Dramatisation script


Re: Design – Adaptation of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Asa Gray and others… by Craig Baxter – as performed 25 March 2007

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  • Re: DesignAdaptation of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Asa Gray and othersby Craig
  • as the creator of this dramatisation, and that of the Darwin Correspondence Project to be identified
  • correspondence or published writings of Asa Gray, Charles Darwin, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Jane Loring
  • Actor 1Asa Gray Actor 2Charles Darwin Actor 3In the dress of a modern day
  • Agassiz, Adam Sedgwick, A Friend of John Stuart Mill, Emma Darwin, Horace Darwinand acts as a sort
  • the play unfolds and acting as a go-between between Gray and Darwin, and between the audience and
  • this, he sends out copies of his Review of the Life of Darwin. At this time in his life, Asa
  • friends in England, copies of hisReview of the Life of Darwin’… pencilling the address so that it
  • Joseph D Hooker GRAY:   3   Charles Darwinmade his home on the border of the little
  • his University) and is much less his own man. A letter from England catches his attention
  • 11   My dear HookerWhat a remarkably nice and kind letter Dr A. Gray has sent me in answer to my
  • be of any the least use to you? If so I would copy itHis letter does strike me as most uncommonly
  • on the geographical distribution of the US plants; and if my letter caused you to do this some year
  • a brace of letters 25   I send enclosed [a letter for you from Asa Gray], received
  • might like to see it; please be sure [to] return it. If your letter is Botanical and has nothing
  • Atlantic. HOOKER:   28   Thanks for your letter and its enclosure from A. Gray which
  • notions of natural Selection and would see whether it or my letter bears any date, I should be very
  • 55   My good dear friend, forgive me. This is a trumpery letter influenced by trumpery feelings. …
  • In which Gray, while continuing to provide stamps for Leonard Darwins collection, fails to be
  • …   A GREAT DRAWBACK TO THE PRIVILEGES OF OLD AGE: 1882 In which Darwin dies and is
  • notorietyCharles Darwin died on the 19th April [1882], a few months after the completion of
  • TO C DARWIN, 29 NOVEMBER 1879 209 A GRAY, 1882, MEMOIR OF DARWIN 210 A

Casting about: Darwin on worms


Earthworms were the subject of a citizen science project to map the distribution of earthworms across Britain (BBC Today programme, 26 May 2014). The general understanding of the role earthworms play in improving soils and providing nutrients for plants to…

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  • for plants to flourish can be traced back to the last book Darwin wrote, snappily-titled The
  • on their habits, which was published in 1881. Despite Darwins fears that a book on earthworms might
  • out in his Natural History of Selborne of 1789 (a book Darwin claimed hadmuch influence on my
  • a new field in natural history, and almost a century later Darwin argued that all fields had passed
  • variety of strange things he persuaded people to do. Darwin concluded that worms had no sense
  • a metal whistle and to being shouted at, but also to Francis Darwin playing the bassoon, and to Emma
  • whether worms possessed the power to lift a pavement. Leonard and George made calculations about
  • realising that this negative evidence was also valuable to Darwin. Thomas Henry Farrer , …
  • existence of worms at that altitude. By the 1870s, Darwin was also drawing on the work of
  • him. Soon worm excrement was trusted to postal services, and Darwin acquired casts from India and
  • observations he had gathered to write a book on the subject. Darwin brought to the topic the
  • whole soul is absorbed with worms just at present!’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton Dyer, 23 November
  • … ‘worms have much bigger souls than anyone wd suppose’ ( letter to W. E. Darwin, 31 January [1881] …

3.16 Oscar Rejlander, photos


< Back to Introduction Darwin’s plans for the illustration of his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872) led him to the Swedish-born painter and photographer, Oscar Gustaf Rejlander. Rejlander gave Darwin the notes that he had…

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  • … &lt; Back to Introduction Darwins plans for the illustration of his book The
  • and photographer, Oscar Gustaf Rejlander. Rejlander gave Darwin the notes that he had himself made
  • in the early 1870s (he died in January 1875), and Darwin assisted him financially on at least one
  • The Expression of the Emotions. In April of that year, Darwin wrote to the London firm of Elliott
  • to any purchasers’. Phillip Prodger has suggested that Darwin agreed to be photographed by Rejlander
  • Expression of the Emotions. Open sale of any portraits of Darwin was likely to be highly
  • Library contains photographs by him of Richard Litchfield (Darwins son in law), and another man, …
  • this was the wedding day of Litchfield and Henrietta Darwin, which Rejlander thus commemorated. …
  • plans for purveying a fanciful or dramatised portrayal of Darwin, he was evidently thwarted, as
  • transition from pathognomy to portraiture in his work for Darwin must have raised interesting
  • and on one side. Of the five or so known photographs of Darwin, evidently taken at more than one
  • photographs. In this way they communicate a sense of Darwins commanding intellect and physical
  • However, they may have seemed too dramatic to please the Darwin family, and were evidently not
  • illustrate an obituary article in the same journal in April 1882. A coarser wood engraved version
  • … (1 October 1876); LUnivers Illustré (29 April 1882); and (reversed) in La Revue Illustrée
  • London Photographic Society, February 12, 1863. Darwins letter to his daughter Henrietta of 20
  • of Manchester, English MS 1404, pp. 523, with a letter to Dresser from Darwin, dated 10 Sept. 1875
  • March 1875), p. 301, reprinted in the same journal (29 April 1882), p. 428. Wood engraving in a

1.18 John Collier, oil in Linnean


< Back to Introduction By 1881 it was clear to Darwin’s intimates that he was increasingly frail, and that, as he approached death, he had finally escaped from religious controversy to become a heroic figure, loved and venerated for his achievements…

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  • … &lt; Back to Introduction By 1881 it was clear to Darwins intimates that he was
  • worthy likeness. While there were numerous photographs of Darwin in these last years, they lacked
  • to a commemorative function. Oulesss characterisation of Darwin as an introspective and melancholy
  • as a thinker.   George Romanes and other members of Darwins circle therefore gained his
  • by subscription, and donated to the Linnean Society. Darwins evolutionary theory had first been
  • Sir John Lubbock; Romanes was its Zoological Secretary; and Darwins son Francis was a member of the
  • as his recent portrait of Joseph Hooker testified. Moreover, Darwin wouldmost particularly
  • made him a member of the Darwinian set, with sympathy for Darwins ideas, and an informed interest
  • of an Artist (1926), shows him entirely attuned to Darwins theories on the origins of the human
  • with his intellectual sitters. Like the photographs taken by Darwins son Leonard, Colliers
  • later to a Singaporean newspaper, the sittings took place in Darwins study at Down Housethe
  • and any other subject that cropped up.’ On 7 August 1881 Darwin was able to report to Romanes that
  • far as I can judge, this seems true’ – Romanes agreed. Darwin added that Collierwas the most
  • As a further sign of their rapport, Collier later gave Darwin a copy of his newly published Primer
  • about to be hung in the rooms of the societyin April 1882, when his death was announced, and
  • reviewerand he turned out to be the perfect choice. Darwin is seen in frontal view, with light
  • to distract from the benign but penetrating expression of Darwins eyes, with a highlighted wisp of
  • By the time it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in May 1882, Darwin was already dead. Speaking at
  • … . Linnean Society archive, manuscript letter LL/8, Darwin to Romanes, 27 May 1881. Correspondence
  • … ‘The Royal Academy Banquet’, Times (1 May 1882), p. 7. ‘Fine arts and music. Royal Academy – …

2.1 Thomas Woolner bust


< Back to Introduction Thomas Woolner’s marble bust of Darwin was the first portrayal of him that reflected an important transition in his status in the later 1860s. In the 1840s–1850s Darwin had been esteemed within scientific circles as one among…

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  • to Introduction Thomas Woolners marble bust of Darwin was the first portrayal of him
  • the subversive author of Origin of Species ; but by 1869 Darwin had gained public fame as a
  • formal bust portrait was not a public commission. It was Darwins close friend Joseph Hooker who
  • or perhaps for display at Kew. In January 1864 Hooker told Darwin, ‘I am very anxious to get Woolner
  • are not pleasing’. This enterprise came to nothingwas Darwin wary of authorising the creation and
  • the project was revived, it was as a commission on behalf of Darwins brother Erasmus, presumably
  • undertaken in November 1868, not for Erasmus but for Charles Darwin himself, and his immediate
  • oil portrait of Charless famous grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. An inventory of the contents of Down
  • and awestruck visitors to Down, and apparently where Darwin carried out his duties as a magistrate. …
  • dynastic or social pretension; and Woolners portrayal of Darwin, analogously, falls somewhere
  • modern dress. It is significant, therefore, that the bust of Darwin is allantica , resembling
  • head and an effect of classical drapery. When the bust of Darwin was exhibited at the Royal Academy
  • finely modelled’, especiallyhis remarkable one of Mr. Darwin. In this Socrates like head, with its
  • as some others did, thatOne could not converse with Darwin without being reminded of Socratesand
  • attacks. Moreover, a physical resemblance between Darwin and Socrates was evident in the short
  • philosophers head. Similarly, Woolner has emphasised Darwins finely shaped forehead, and the
  • is inscribed in capitals on the front of the baseCharles Darwin’, and signed on the sideT. …
  • a poet as well as a sculptor - whose lively conversation, Darwin said, relieved the tedium of posing
  • … , and he was among thepersonal friendsinvited to Darwins funeral in Westminster Abbey in 1882. …
  • … , 99:198 (Sept. 1856), pp. 452491 (p. 477). Darwins letter to Lyell, 21 Aug. 1861: DCP-LETT-3235. …
  • Huxley, ‘Charles Darwin’, Nature , 25:652 (27 April 1882), p. 597. William Darwins reminiscences

2.7 Joseph Moore, Midland Union medal


< Back to Introduction The Midland Union was an association of natural history societies and field clubs across the Midland counties, intended to facilitate – especially through its journal The Midland Naturalist – ‘the interchange of ideas’ and…

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  • Unions annual meeting in July 1880 to award an annualDarwin Prizefor the best article submitted
  • which could include, if he chose, a specially designedDarwin medalin either gold or bronze. The
  • and useful work’. A Manchester Guardian article, ‘Darwin and local scientific societies’, …
  • figure, and there was added pride in his Midland origins. Darwins permission had been sought for
  • with characteristic kindness and absence of condescension. Darwin wrote, ‘their wish to name the
  • source of happiness throughout life’.The design of the Darwin medal was appropriately entrusted to
  • his own determined efforts. His bust-length portrayal of Darwin in three-quarter view, signed in
  • On the reverse an inscription runs round the edge: ‘The Darwin medal founded by the Midland Union of
  • gold or bronze  
 references and bibliography letter to E. W. Badger, [19 July 1880], DCP
  • 1880), p. 126. Bristol Mercury and Daily Post (22 April 1882), p. 6. Manchester Guardian (2

Portraits of Charles Darwin: a catalogue


Compiled by Diana Donald The format of the catalogue Nineteenth-century portraits of Darwin are found in a very wide range of visual media. For the purposes of this catalogue, they have been divided into four broad categories, according to medium.…

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  • of the catalogue Nineteenth-century portraits of Darwin are found in a very wide range of
  • clusters may exemplify the proliferation of portrayals of Darwin, their subtle re-workings, and the
  • centurys most famous natural scientist, Charles Darwin, confronts us with a paradox. He was known, …
  • worldly ambition or desire for fame. One obituarist noted in 1882 that Darwinnever aimed at cheap
  • not found at lectures, nor on platforms’. 1 In fact, Darwin never taught in a university or held
  • years after the publication of Origin of SpeciesDarwins closest friend, Joseph Hooker, told
  • … ‘not pleasing’; and no paintings or sculptures of Darwin were as yet known to the public. Ten or
  • includes about a hundred and thirty original images of Darwinpaintings, drawings, etchings, …
  • cigarette cards and the pictures on cigar boxes. 3 After Darwins death, commemorative statues
  • versions. There was a plethora of sculpted portrayals of Darwin among the historical figures that
  • likely to be an ongoing projectIt is clear that Darwins contemporaries and immediate
  • This featured a majority of the existing grand portraits of Darwin in various media, but also, more
  • cartoons ridiculing his ideas. 6 It was recognised that Darwins iconography was, above all, …
  • writer remarked in 1901, it was made to seem as though Darwinstood alone, severely isolated . . . …
  • … ‘without companions’. 7 Indeed, we can never see Darwin as he appeared to his contemporaries in
  • than biographical or social documents. This vision of Darwin as a thinker of unique status
  • which brought together diversemen of eminence’, Darwin among them. Ascartes de visitethey can
  • is a good collection in the National Portrait Gallery, and Darwin himself sent some of these cartes
  • social interactions, so in the control of representations, Darwins family and close associates
  • in portraits of scientists through the centuries, chose Leonard Darwins photograph of his father to
  • … . . of the great scientist’. 9 Even the caricatures of Darwin, irreverent as they were, enhanced
  • graphic jokes were happily collected and preserved by the Darwin clan through many generations.  …
  • departments. Others are in the care of English Heritage at Darwins home, Down House in Kent, often
  • of Mr. Charles R. Darwin’, Daily News (21 April 1882). A writer onThe late Mr. Darwinin the
  • … ‘Germany’, a report in the Times (29 April 1882), p. 7, mentions awax figure of the late Mr. …
  • as Ethical Thinker, Human Reformer and Pessimist, With a Letter to Mr. Spencer (London: John Bale, …

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…

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  • In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished
  • used these notebooks extensively in dating and annotating Darwins letters; the full transcript
  • … *128). For clarity, the transcript does not record Darwins alterations. The spelling and
  • book had been consulted. Those cases where it appears that Darwin made a genuine deletion have been
  • a few instances, primarily in theBooks Readsections, Darwin recorded that a work had been
  • of the books listed in the other two notebooks. Sometimes Darwin recorded that an abstract of the
  • own. Soon after beginning his first reading notebook, Darwin began to separate the scientific
  • the second reading notebook. Readers primarily interested in Darwins scientific reading, therefore, …
  • editorsidentification of the book or article to which Darwin refers. A full list of these works is
  • page number (or numbers, as the case may be) on which Darwins entry is to be found. The
  • … [Reimarius 1760] The Highlands &amp; Western Isl ds  letter to Sir W Scott [MacCulloch 1824
  • 183440]: In Portfolio ofabstracts34  —letter from Skuckard of books on Silk Worm
  • M rs  Frys Life [Fry 1847] Horace Walpoles letter to C t . of Ossory [Walpole 1848] …
  • Asiatic Society ]—contains very little Macleays letter to D r  Fleming [Macleay 1830] …
  • … [Heer 1854].— Hooker has it.— Very important Hookers letter Jan. 1859 Yules Ava [Yule 1858] …
  • never read his works ( Calendar  no. 11875). In February 1882, however, after reading the
  • of the material from these portfolios is in DAR 205, the letter from William Edward Shuckard to
  • … ( Notebooks , pp. 31928). 55  The letter was addressed to Nicholas Aylward Vigors
  • to William Jackson Hooker. See  Correspondence  vol. 3, letter to J. D. Hooker, [5 or 12 November
  • 119: 21b Broughton, William Grant. 1832A letter in vindication of   the principles of
  • eds.] [Abstract in DAR 91: 13.]  119: 9b Horner, Leonard, ed. 1843Memoirs and
  • …   conflict . 3 vols. London128: 25 Jenyns, Leonard. 1838. Further remarks on the
  • dit jardin.  Augsbourg128: 16 [Knapp, John Leonard]. 1829Journal of a   …
  • by Bekhur to   Garoo and the Lake Manasarowara: with a letter fromJ.   G. Gerard, Esq. …
  • 1830. On the dying struggle of the dichotomous sytem. In a letter to N. A. VigorsPhilosophical
  • waters.  Philadelphia128: 8 Staunton, George Leonard. 1797An authentic account of