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Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

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: 22 hits

  • There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1879 on this website.  The full texts
  • 27 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin , published by Cambridge
  • to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an
  • the sensitivity of the tips. Despite this breakthrough, when Darwin first mentioned the book to his
  • a holiday in the Lake District in August did little to raise Darwins spirits. ‘I wish that my
  • he fretted, just days before his departure ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [after 26] July [1879] …
  • all over like a baked pear’ ( enclosure in letter from R. W. Dixon, 20 December 1879 ). The year
  • to complete Horaces marriage settlement ( letter from W. M. Hacon, 31 December 1879 ). …
  • nice and good as could be’ ( letter from Karl Beger, [ c. 12 February 1879] ). The masters of
  • of the Admiralty described the unknown young man asA M r Darwin grandson of the well known
  • him on 9 June not toexpend much powder & shot on M r  Butler’, for he really was not worth
  • leaving Darwinmore perplexed than ever about life of D r . D’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 12
  • and he regretted going beyond histether’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 5 June 1879 , and
  • the highest point, for hiswhy”—“what for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first
  • travellerneither cross nor ennuied’ (Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: 125
  • which is his profession thonot a profitable one; also D r  C[lark]’s opinion that he was so
  • wait for three months. ‘Nothing can be more useless than T.Hs conduct’, Emma Darwin pointed out, …
  • to say that he has opposed it’ (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: …
  • greatly amused Darwin, who felt it wasvery acute of M r  Ruskin to know that I feel a deep & …
  • German men of science quarrelled (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [6 September 1879] (DAR
  • and preventCattle diseases, Potato diseases &c’, probably did not know that Darwin had already
  • agreed to their engagement being made public ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 12 October 1879 ). Darwin

Darwin in letters, 1877: Flowers and honours

Summary

Ever since the publication of Expression, Darwin’s research had centred firmly on botany. The year 1877 was no exception. The spring and early summer were spent completing Forms of flowers, his fifth book on a botanical topic. He then turned to the…

Matches: 27 hits

  • Ever since the publication of Expression , Darwins research had centred firmly on botany. The
  • of these projects would culminate in a major publication. Darwins botany was increasingly a
  • assisted his fathers research on movement and bloom, and Darwin in turn encouraged his sons own
  • The year 1877 was more than usually full of honours. Darwin received two elaborate photograph albums
  • from Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Closer to home, Darwin received an honorary Doctorate of
  • sites for possible earthworm activity. Now in his 69th year, Darwin remained remarkably productive, …
  • no controversy. In his autobiographical reflections, Darwin remarked: ‘no little discovery of
  • … (‘Recollections’, p. 419). During the winter and spring, Darwin was busy preparing the manuscript of
  • and presented to the Linnean Society of London. In the book, Darwin adopted the more recent term
  • value, it is not likely that more than a few hundred copies w d . be sold’. His publisher knew
  • to Down if it lay in my power and you thought it w d . help you.’ ‘I declare had it not been for
  • Hookers suspicion of ambitious gardeners ( letter from W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 25 August 1877 ). …
  • one of the young leaves with a delicate twig’ ( letter to R. I. Lynch, 14 September 1877 ). …
  • but I think the great honour of its being printed in the R. Soc. Transactions, (sh d . the
  • copies of Kosmos covering the German debate (letters to W. E. Gladstone, 2 October 1877 and
  • of form and of motion was exact and lively’ ( letter from W. E. Gladstone, 23 October 1877 ). …
  • larger aim was announced in the subtitle: Zeitschrift für einheitliche Weltanschauung auf Grund
  • … ‘but found him as soft & smooth as butter’ ( letter to C. E. Norton, 16 March 1877 ). Hooker
  • I hope it may remain for centuries to come’ ( letter from C. C. Graham, 30 January 1877 ). Graham
  • of Siebolds study of medical monstrosity ( letter from C. T. E. Siebold, 10 October 1877 ). An
  • blood and thus keep back our civilization’ ( letter from W. B. Bowles, 17 May 1877 ). Bowles
  • to hide the absence of humanity beneath’ ( letter from W. B. Bowles, 18 May 1877 ). More
  • exhibit is in many cases purely physical’ ( letter from W. M. Moorsom, 10 September 1877 ). Darwin
  • them drink so that they become quite tipsy’ ( letter to W. M. Moorsom, 11 September [1877] ). …
  • people and licensed by the state’ ( letter from W. M. Moorsom, 13 September [1877] ). The only
  • any recognition by any public bodies of England & that y r . own University w d . like to be
  • at the Senate House yesterday, with a suspended monkey &c; but I believe the cheering was more

Movement in Plants

Summary

The power of movement in plants, published on 7 November 1880, was the final large botanical work that Darwin wrote. It was the only work in which the assistance of one of his children, Francis Darwin, is mentioned on the title page. The research for this…

Matches: 25 hits

  • 7 November 1880was the final large botanical work that Darwin wrote. It was the only work in which
  • about their research while he was away from home. Although Darwin lacked a state of the art research
  • the advantages of both while Francis was working abroad. Darwin was privy to the inner workings of
  • methods and use the most advanced laboratory equipment. Darwin also benefitted from the instrument
  • that Francis had been introduced to at Würzburg. Darwin described his experimental practice
  • plant physiology, but it was at its core informed by Darwins theory of evolution, particularly by
  • early 1860s, at a time when his health was especially bad, Darwin had taken up the study of climbing
  • reproduced as a small book, giving it a much wider audience. Darwin was not the first naturalist to
  • which eventually appeared in 1875. In the same year, Darwin published a much longer work,  …
  • about the nature of movement, so much so, that at one point Darwin had considered combining the
  • digestive processes. With his final great botanical work, Darwin would attemptto bring all the
  • … ‘ Frank & I are working very hard on bloom & sleep &c.; but I am horribly afraid all
  • that exhibited all three types of movement ( letter from RILynch, [before 28 July 1877] ). ‘ …
  • was reported by Francis, who added that Sachsdoesnt think very much of Pfeffer, that is he says
  • to learn about cutting thin sections of soft leaves &c.— Lastly the instrument for making marks
  • FranksTransversal-Heliotropismus’ ( letter from WEDarwin10 February [1880] ). …
  • many of the caustic ones were bentso Sachs doesnt believe in it a bithe says the growth is
  • … ‘ I am very sorry that Sachs is so sceptical, for I w drather convert him than any other half
  • aslittle discsandgreenish bodies’ ( letter to WTThiselton-Dyer29 October 1879 ). …
  • that he had not been able to observe earlier ( letter to WTThiselton-Dyer20 November 1879 ). …
  • the curious mode of germinationand concluded, ‘ M r  Rattan seems to be a real good observer, …
  • orThe Nature of the Movements of Plants’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke23 April [1880] ). Cooke
  • was willing to publish on the usual terms ( letter from R. F. Cooke15 July 1880 ). This was also
  • decided to translate the work into GermanDarwin neednt have worried. Carus wasmost happy to
  • pay more for at the usual rate of charging per inch &c they w dbe over £40’; he suggested

Darwin in letters, 1876: In the midst of life

Summary

1876 was the year in which the Darwins became grandparents for the first time.  And tragically lost their daughter-in-law, Amy, who died just days after her son's birth.  All the letters from 1876 are now published in volume 24 of The Correspondence…

Matches: 23 hits

  • The year 1876 started out sedately enough with Darwin working on the first draft of his book on the
  • games. ‘I have won, hurrah, hurrah, 2795 games’, Darwin boasted; ‘my wifepoor creature, has won
  • regarding the ailments that were so much a feature of Darwin family life. But the calm was not to
  • four days later. ‘I cannot bear to think of the future’, Darwin confessed to William on 11
  • once, the labour of checking proofs proved a blessing, as Darwin sought solace for the loss of his
  • and his baby son Bernard now part of the household, and Darwin recasting his work on dimorphic and
  • had involved much time and effort the previous year, and Darwin clearly wanted to focus his
  • of the second edition of Climbing plants ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 23 February 1876 ). When
  • single-volume edition titled Geological observations , Darwin resisted making any revisions at
  • volume, Coral reefs , already in its second edition. Darwin was neverthelessfirmly resolved not
  • meticulous correction of errors in the German editions made Darwin less anxious about correcting the
  • to Carus. ( Letter to J. V. Carus, 24 April 1876. ) Darwin focused instead on the second
  • concentrated on themeans of crossing’, was seen by Darwin as the companion to Cross and self
  • return to old work than part of the future work outlined by Darwin in hislittle Autobiography’ ( …
  • effected by his forthcoming pamphlet, Darwin confounded (C. OShaughnessy 1876), which, he
  • and who had succeeded in giving him pain ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 17 June 1876 ). Although
  • been cast by thepoorest curs in London’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [4 February 1876] ). …
  • years experiments’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [ c . 19 March 1876] ). A less welcome reaction
  • because of along and terrible illness’ ( letter to C. S. Wedgwood, 20 April 1876 ). By the time
  • of illness & misery there is in the world’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 26 May [1876] ). A
  • we have & you are one of the best of all’ ( letter to W. E. Darwin, 11 September [1876] ). …
  • in harmony with yours’ ( letter from George Henslow, [ c. 7 December 1876] ). A more typical
  • been the subject of mere observation’ ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 31 December 1876 ). The Swiss

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep

Summary

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: 18 hits

  • … lessen injury to leaves from radiation In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to …
  • … in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of experiments to …
  • … plant laboratories in Europe. While Francis was away, Darwin delighted in his role as …
  • … from botanical research was provided by potatoes, as Darwin took up the cause of an Irish …
  • … would rid Ireland of famine. Several correspondents pressed Darwin for his views on religion, …
  • … closed with remarkable news of a large legacy bequeathed to Darwin by a stranger as a reward for his …
  • … birthday ( letter to Ernst Haeckel, 12 February [1878] ), Darwin reflected that it was ‘more …
  • … Expression ), and the final revision of Origin (1872), Darwin had turned almost exclusively to …
  • … Movement in plants In the spring of 1878, Darwin started to focus on the first shoots and …
  • … were enrolled as researchers, as were family members. Darwin asked his niece Sophy to observe …
  • … ( letter to Sophy Wedgwood, 24 March [1878–80] ). While Darwin was studying the function of …
  • … on one side, then another, to produce movement in the stalk. Darwin compared adult and young leaves …
  • … after growth has ceased or nearly ceased.’ Finally, Darwin turned to plant motion below the …
  • … precision the lines of least resistance in the ground.’ Darwin would devote a whole chapter to the …
  • … moisture, and various chemical and nutritive substances, Darwin next considered sound. He explained …
  • … from Francis Darwin, [22 June 1878] ). ‘Sachs doesn’t consider that there is any puzzle as to how …
  • … he was unwell. ‘I was rather seedy last night & didn’t appear at the laboratory & this …
  • … ill favour because however civilly I may word it a man can’t like to have his work torn to shreds …

Darwin in letters, 1881: Old friends and new admirers

Summary

In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began writing about all the eminent men he had met. He embarked on this task, which formed an addition to his autobiography, because he had nothing else to do. He had…

Matches: 24 hits

  • In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began
  • a very old man, who probably will not last much longer.’ Darwins biggest fear was not death, but
  • sweetest place on this earth’. From the start of the year, Darwin had his demise on his mind. He
  • provision for the dividing of his wealth after his death. Darwins gloominess was compounded by the
  • and new admirers got in touch, and, for all his fears, Darwin found several scientific topics to
  • Evolution old and new when revising his essay on Erasmus Darwins scientific work, and that Darwin
  • … & very surprising the whole case is to me’ (letters to W. E. Darwin, 31 January [1881] and
  • the sale of books beinga game of chance’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 12 April 1881 ). On 18 May
  • suggestions of such plants, especially annuals ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 21 March [1881] ) …
  • he would feelless sulky in a day or two’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 29 July 1881 ). The degree of
  • falls at this late period of the season’ ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 30 July 1881 ). Darwin gave in
  • with you’, a Swedish teacher told him ( letter from C. E. Södling, 14 October 1881 ), while H. M. …
  • little, to the general stock of knowledge’ ( letter to E. W. Bok, 10 May 1881 ). Josef Popper, an
  • to possibilities for women, judging from her organization &c’. When Darwin replied the following
  • … ‘bread-winners’ ( Correspondence vol. 30, letter to C. A. Kennard, 9 January 1882 ). …
  • publication & to acknowledge any criticism’ ( letter to C. G. Semper, 19 July 1881 ). He
  • of the nature & capabilities of the Fuegians’ ( letter to W. P. Snow, 22 November 1881 ). …
  • to bear thewear & tear of controversy’ ( letter to G. R. Jesse, 23 April 1881 ). Later in
  • everyone elses judgment on the subject ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 12 July 1881 ). However, some
  • … ‘not absurd for one with no pretensions’ (l etter from W. E. Darwin, 13 January [1881 ]), Darwin
  • do not be disappointed if the sale is small’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 5 October 1881 ). The
  • provedthe greatness of their power’ ( letter from M. C. Stanley, 16 October 1881 ). Hooker
  • men the true methods of investigation’ ( letter from C. V. Riley, 18 December 1881 ). …
  • the terms of the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act ( letter to T. L. Brunton, 19 November 1881 ). Darwin

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: 2 hits

  • … Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. …
  • … Dareste, Camille (9) Darwin family (1) …

The "wicked book": Origin at 157

Summary

Origin is 157 years old.  (Probably) the most famous book in science was published on 24 November 1859.  To celebrate we have uploaded hundreds of new images of letters, bringing the total number you can look at here to over 9000 representing more than…

Matches: 9 hits

  • book appeared.   You can now see examples of letters to Darwin from nearly 250 different people, and
  • Lyell , and Joseph Hooker , the two men who arranged for Darwins and Wallaces ideas to be made
  • Asa Gray who was an important sounding board for Darwins emerging ideas, and Thomas Huxley
  • scrap from 1857 comparing his views on species to DarwinsOthers, like Hugh Falconer , …
  • the less well-known scientific collaborators who became Darwin's correspondents, Mary Treat
  • was co-opted as an observer in WalesLucy Wedgwood , Darwins neice, was one of those who
  • of water thrown over me on rising William Darwin Fox , Charless cousin and another
  • the other names to look for: Daniel Oliver W. T. Thiselton-Dyer George
  • Frederick Smith A. G. Butler John Lubbock R. I. Lynch J. B. Burdon Sanderson