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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: 16 hits

  • On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July
  • 52 hours without vomiting!! In the same month, Darwin began to consult William Jenner, …
  • of the five physicians Darwin had consulted in 1863. In a letter of 26[–7] March [1864] , Darwin
  • and he received more letters of advice from Jenner. In a letter of 15 December [1864] to the
  • As Darwin explained to his cousin William Darwin Fox in a letter of 30 November [1864] , ‘the
  • observations indoors ( Correspondence  vol. 11). In a letter of [27 January 1864] , Darwin
  • by which  leaves  produce tendrils’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [8 February 1864] ). Darwins
  • …  peduncles to test sensitivity, and in his request to Hooker for another specimen: ‘I want it
  • garden, taking notes by dictation. His niece Lucy Caroline Wedgwood sent observations of  …
  • household news, were sometimes written by Darwins wife, Emma, or by Henrietta. Darwins own replies
  • case of Dimorphismin  Menyanthes  ( letter from Emma and Charles Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [20
  • with his stipend being paid by Darwin himself ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [1 April 1864] ). …
  • often at odds with one another: ‘Gardeners are the very dl, & where two or three are gathered
  • enough to play your part  over  them’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 April 1864] ). …
  • … … they do require very careful treatment’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 April 1864 ). Nevertheless
  • he saw few people outside the family and, according to Emma Darwins diary and his ownJournal’, …

Women’s scientific participation

Summary

Observers | Fieldwork | Experimentation | Editors and critics | Assistants Darwin’s correspondence helps bring to light a community of women who participated, often actively and routinely, in the nineteenth-century scientific community. Here is a…

Matches: 22 hits

  • … |  Editors and critics  |  Assistants Darwins correspondence helps bring to light a
  • community. Here is a selection of letters exchanged between Darwin and his workforce of women
  • Observers Women: Letter 1194 - Darwin to Whitby, M. A. T., [12 August
  • silkworm breeds, or peculiarities in inheritance. Letter 3787 - Darwin, H. E. to
  • observations of catsinstinctive behaviour. Letter 4258 - Becker, L. E. to Darwin, …
  • plants in her garden. Letter 4523 - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, [6 June 1864] …
  • in South Africa. Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L to Darwin, [8 & 9 May 1869] …
  • a trip to Egypt. Letter 7223 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., [8 June 1867 - 72] …
  • Darwin's daughter, Henrietta. Letter 7179 - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, [5
  • of wormholes. Letter 8611 - Cupples, A. J. to Darwin, E., [8 November1872] …
  • her observations on the expression of emotion in dogs with Emma Darwin. Letter 8676
  • Darwins behalf. Letter 8683 - Roberts, D. to Darwin, [17 December 1872] …
  • little treatise”. Letter 4436 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [26-27 March 1864] …
  • and orangs. Letter 5705 - Haast, J. F. J. von to Darwin, [4 December 1867] …
  • 1868] Darwins nephew, Edmund, writes to Emma Darwins sister, Sarah, with observations of
  • Darwins nephews, Edmund and Charles, write to Emma Darwins sister, Sarah, with observations of
  • Wedgwood, S. E. & J. to Darwin, [10 November 1837] Emmas sister, Sarah, passes on
  • at Maer Hall, Staffordshire. Letter 1219  - Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, [3 February
  • …  - Wright, Charles to Gray, A., [20, 25, 26 March & 1 April 1864] Charles Wright tells
  • E. to Darwin, W. E., [January 23rd 1887]: Emma Darwin tells her eldest son, William, …
  • E. to Darwin, W. E. , (March, 1862 - DAR 219.1:49) Emma Darwin updates her son, William, …
  • is a great critic”, thought the article worth reprinting, Emma was less convinced. Letter

Darwin's health

Summary

On 28 March 1849, ten years before Origin was published, Darwin wrote to his good friend Joseph Hooker from Great Malvern in Worcestershire, where Dr James Manby Gully ran a fashionable water-cure establishment. Darwin apologised for his delayed reply to…

Matches: 17 hits

  • March 1849, ten years before  Origin  was published, Darwin wrote to his good friend Joseph Hooker
  • I was rapidly going the way of all fleshSee the letter At various periods in his
  • fatigue, trembling, faintness, and dizziness. In 1849, Darwins symptoms became so severe that he
  • months while he took Dr Gullys water cure. In Darwins letter to Hooker, he described Dr Gullys
  • the years around 1848, 1852, 1859, and 1863. In a letter to Hooker in April of 1861for example, …
  • of a fashionable spinal ice treatment. In April 1864, Darwin attributed his improved health to Dr
  • vomiting wonderfully & I am gaining vigour .’ (letter to JDHooker, 13 April [1864] ) …
  • … (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 2, letter to J. S. Henslow, 14 October [1837] , …
  • vol. 12, letter to F. T. Buckland, 15 December [1864] ). On Darwins early stomach
  • attacks ofperiodical vomitingin a letter to W. D. Fox, [7 June 1840] ( Correspondence vol
  • 1849] , andvomiting every weekin his letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 March 1849 ( …
  • almost daily (see Correspondence vol. 12, letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, [6 May 1864] …
  • decision to consult John Chapman.  In a letter to J. D. Hooker, [20-] 22 February [1864] ( …
  • 38, 47, 64). Fainting androckinghad been recorded in Emma Darwins diary (DAR 242) on several
  • sensationshas been found. On Darwins reliance on Emma Darwins companionship and care see, for
  • Hooker, 1 June [1865] and 27 [or 28 September 1865] . Emma or another member of the household
  • … , and Correspondence vol. 2, letter to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood, [28 August 1837] ). His

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

  • In 1865, the chief work on Charles Darwins mind was the writing of  The variation of animals and
  • letters on climbing plants to make another paper. Darwin also submitted a manuscript of his
  • for evaluation, and persuaded his friend Joseph Dalton Hooker to comment on a paper on  Verbascum
  • Argyll, appeared in the religious weeklyGood Words . Darwin received news of an exchange of
  • Butler, and, according to Butler, the bishop of Wellington. Darwins theory was discussed at an
  • committed suicide at the end of April; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic
  • thriving, and when illness made work impossible, Darwin and Hooker read a number of novels, and
  • having all the Boys at home: they make the house jolly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] …
  • for the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1864, had staunchly supported his candidacy, …
  • had failed to include among the grounds of the award ( see letter from Hugh Falconer to Erasmus
  • his letters to Darwin, and Darwin responded warmly: ‘Your letter is by far the grandest eulogium
  • kind friend to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] ). However, …
  • griefs & pains: these alone are unalloyed’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1865 ). …
  • to CDs theory of transmutation, in or before November 1864 ( Correspondence vol. 12, letter to
  • … ), and wrote up his results on his voyage to India in late 1864, despite suffering from sea-sickness
  • attending school, and spent some time travelling in Europe (Emma Darwins diary (DAR 242),  Emma
  • people werent so foolish’;. In November, Darwin and Emma visited Erasmus in London ( …

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: 21 hits

  • …   On 6 March 1868, Darwin wrote to the entomologist and accountant John Jenner Weir, ‘If any
  • he ought to do what I am doing pester them with letters.’ Darwin was certainly true to his word. The
  • and sexual selection. In  Origin , pp. 8790, Darwin had briefly introduced the concept of
  • in satisfying female preference in the mating process. In a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace in 1864, …
  • book would take the form of ashort essayon man ( letter to Ernst Haeckel, 3 July 1868 ). But
  • as well say, he would drink a little and not too much’ ( letter to Albert Günther, 15 May [1868] ) …
  • the accursed Index-maker’, Darwin wrote to Joseph Dalton Hooker on 6 January . Darwin had sent
  • … ). Darwin sympathised, replying on 14 January , ‘I sh d  have a very bad heart, as hard as
  • to read a few pages feel fairly nauseated’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 February [1868] ). But such
  • awaythat sparked the most discussion. Darwin wrote to Hooker on 23 February , ‘did you look at
  • thought it was by Gray himself, but Darwin corrected him: ‘D r  Gray would strike me in the face, …
  • editor of the  London and Westminster Review . When Hooker later tried to refute the claims of the
  • a scamp & I begin to think a veritable ass’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 September [1868] ). …
  • on 17 April 1868 . The letter was addressed tothe Rev d  C. Darwin M.d’; Binstead evidently
  • information on colour changes in the canary (letters from J. J. Weir, [26] March 1868 and 3
  • added, ‘for it is clear that I have none’ ( letter to J. J. Weir, 30 May [1868] ). Sexual
  • at Cambridge, George Robert Crotch, writing to his mother Emma in a letter dated [after 16 October
  • Langton wrote from the south of France to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood on 9 Novembe r, describing
  • and received a number of reports from family members. Emma Darwins niece, Cicely Mary Hawkshaw, …
  • old daughter Katherine ( letter from C. M. Hawkshaw to Emma Darwin, 9 February [1868] ). Darwins
  • other national papers, and within a few days Darwin and Emma were receiving letters of

Natural Science and Femininity

Summary

Discussion Questions|Letters A conflation of masculine intellect and feminine thoughts, habits and feelings, male naturalists like Darwin inhabited an uncertain gendered identity. Working from the private domestic comfort of their homes and exercising…

Matches: 13 hits

  • thoughts, habits and feelings, male naturalists like Darwin inhabited an uncertain gendered identity
  • feminine powers of feeling and aesthetic appreciation, Darwin and his male colleagues struggled to
  • Britain? Letters Letter 109 - Wedgwood, J. to Darwin, …
  • pursuit of real, professional work on his return. Letter 158 - Darwin to Darwin, R. W., …
  • colour andbeautyof tropical vegetation. Letter 542 - Darwin to Wedgwood, C. S., [27
  • made up of meals, family time and walks into town with Emma. Letter 555 - Darwin to
  • borders of his garden. Letter 2864 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [12 July 1860] …
  • Published in GardenersChronicle , Darwin asks M. J. Berkeley to identify microscopical
  • Letter 4377 - Haeckel, E. P. A. to Darwin, [2 January 1864] Haeckel sends Darwin some
  • aesthetic pleasure. Letter 4436 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [26-27 March 1864] …
  • or two of them into his bedroom. Letter 4469 - Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, [20 April 1864] …
  • Letter 4472 - Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, [26 or 27 April 1864] Hooker once again discusses
  • in his home. Letter 6453 - Langton, E. to Wedgwood, S. E., [9 November 1868] …

Scientific Networks

Summary

Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … and colonial authorities. In the nineteenth-century, letter writing was one of the most important …
  • … tapping into the networks of others, such as Joseph Dalton Hooker and Asa Gray, who were at leading …
  • … when strong institutional structures were largely absent. Darwin had a small circle of scientific …
  • … in times of uncertainty, controversy, or personal loss. Letter writing was not only a means of …
  • … of face-to-face contact. His correspondence with Joseph Hooker and Asa Gray illustrates how close …
  • … section contains two sets of letters. The first is between Darwin and his friend Kew botanist J. D. …
  • Letter 4463 — Scott, John to Darwin, C. R., 14 Apr [1864] Scott thanks Darwin for his …
  • Letter 4468 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 19 [Apr 1864] Darwin makes another plea to his …
  • Letter 4469 — Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, C. R., 20 Apr 1864 Hooker again refuses to help Scott, …
  • Letter 4471 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 25 Apr [1864] Darwin thinks his friend Kew …
  • Letter 1176 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, Emma, [20–1 May 1848] Darwin writes to his wife Emma. …

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

Summary

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…

Matches: 24 hits

  • In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the previous
  • 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
  • François Marie Glaziou (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter from Arthur de Souza Corrêa, 20
  • … & I am glad to shirk any extra labour’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 6 January 1882 ). The
  • seeing the flowers & experimentising on them’ ( letter to J. E. Todd, 10 April 1882 ). While
  • their burrows ( Correspondence vol. 29, letter from J. F. Simpson, 8 November 1881 ). He
  • the summit, whence it rolls down the sides’ ( letter from J. F. Simpson, 7 January 1882 ). The
  • on it, which would have pleased me greatly’ ( letter from J. H. Gilbert, 9 January 1882, and
  • and was no longer able to take his daily strolls (Henrietta Emma Litchfield, ‘Charles Darwins death
  • E. Litchfield to G. H. Darwin, 17 March 1882 (DAR 245: 319)) Emma wrote ten days later: ‘You will
  • been a good deal plagued with dull aching in the chest’ (Emma Darwin to G. H. Darwin, [ c . 28
  • benefit & he escaped pain entirely yesterday’ (letter from Emma Darwin to G. H. Darwin, 6 April
  • wrote to George, who had visited Down on 11 April (Emma Darwins diary (DAR 242)). ‘Father was taken
  • H. Darwin, [19 April 1882] (DAR 245: 320)). It was left to Emma to convey the sorrowful news to his
  • which I hope were never very violent’ ( letter from Emma Darwin to J. D. Hooker, [20 April 1882
  • were not wanting to tell me how you felt for meHope [Wedgwood] expresses a feeling that I should
  • they were the most overflowing in tenderness’ (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, 10 May 1882
  • was eagerly awaited by his family, including his cousin Emma Wedgwood. In long letters to her sister
  • able to work’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, [ c . 10 April 1864] ). To the physician Henry Holland, …
  • History every day’ ( letter to Henry Holland, 6 November [1864] ). Writing to the clergyman and

Darwin and Fatherhood

Summary

Charles Darwin married Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and over the next seventeen years the couple had ten children. It is often assumed that Darwin was an exceptional Victorian father. But how extraordinary was he? The Correspondence Project allows an unusually…

Matches: 17 hits

  • Charles Darwin married Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and over the next seventeen years the couple had ten
  • an unusually large number of letters sent by members of the Darwin family to be studied. However, in
  • required them to work long hours away from their family. Darwin was unusual in being able to pursue
  • this part of Kent asextraordinarily rural & quiet’ (Darwin to his sister Catherine,  [24 July
  • expressed regrets that his ill health (e.g., Darwin to J. D. Hooker14 May [1861] ) and family
  • a result, Darwin rarely spent a day without the company of Emma and at least some of his children. …
  • they employed eight servants including two nursery maids. Emma actively supervised and assisted with
  • to see their father when he was working (Darwin to his wife Emma,  [7-8 February 1845] ). Although
  • anxiety & movement on account of Etty.’ (Darwin to W. D. Fox18 October [1860] ) Seven of
  • else is transmitted by inheritance.’  (Darwin to W. D. Fox23 September [1859] ). He believed
  • but fear has almost driven away grief.’ (Darwin to W. D. Fox2 July [1858] ). The death of a
  • period, as Darwins attempts to comfort his friend Joseph Hooker on the death of his six-year-old
  • about theawesome state of indecision’ (Darwin to W. D. Fox10 October [1850] ) as he and Emma
  • children in letters to friends, and the choices that he and Emma made were deliberately conventional
  • were favourite family games, and in 1859 he ended a letter to his oldest son with the exclamationI
  • … (Darwin to his son William,  [30 October 1858] ). In one letter in 1856, he explained his paternal
  • the age of twenty-six. This meant that in old age Darwin and Emma continued to share Down House with

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: 21 hits

  • … The year 1876 started out sedately enough with Darwin working on the first draft of his book on the …
  • … life in Down House measured by the ongoing tally of his and Emma’s backgammon games. ‘I have won, …
  • … regarding the ailments that were so much a feature of Darwin family life. But the calm was not to …
  • … quantity of work’ left in him for ‘new matter’ (letter to Asa Gray, 28 January 1876). The …
  • … to a reprint of the second edition of Climbing plants ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 23 February …
  • … & I for blundering’, he cheerfully observed to Carus. ( Letter to J. V. Carus, 24 April 1876. …
  • … for 3 February, Darwin reassured his close friend Joseph Hooker that he and Francis would attend the …
  • … of blackballing so distinguished a zoologist ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 January 1876 ). Both …
  • … results in this year’s experiments’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [ c . 19 March 1876] ). A less …
  • … by the mutual pressure of very young buds’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 21 June [1876] ). Darwin …
  • … researcher, and sympathised with his close friends Joseph Hooker and Asa Gray, whose situations …
  • … was ‘not worthy of being read ever’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 28 January 1876 ). Darwin himself …
  • … was never far away in the Darwin family. In April, while Emma was suffering from a feverish cold, …
  • … In the same month, Darwin heard that his sister Caroline Wedgwood continued to languish in …
  • … of illness & misery there is in the world’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 26 May [1876] ). A …
  • … associated with a happy event. On 7 September, Charles and Emma became grandparents for the first …
  • … have heart to go on again . . . I cannot conceive Emma and Charles exhibited a practical …
  • … August to be with her daughter at the time of the birth, and Emma was unimpressed by her. ‘The more …
  • … word she says’, she confided to Henrietta (letter from Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [31 August …
  • … ability to console Francis after Amy’s death gained Emma’s respect. ‘She is always able to speak’, …
  • … from different forms of dimorphic and trimorphic plants in 1864 showed that hybrid sterility in …

Discussion Questions and Essay Questions

Summary

There are a wide range of possibilities for opening discussion and essay writing on Darwin’s correspondence.  We have provided a set of sample discussion questions and essay questions, each of which focuses on a particular topic or correspondent in depth.…

Matches: 9 hits

  • of possibilities for opening discussion and essay writing on Darwins correspondence.  We have
  • start researching and writing an essay that centres on Darwins letters, narrowing the field to a
  • Why was correspondence so important for Darwin? How did Darwin encourage people he did not
  • material did letters contain? How much knowledge does Darwin assume when he writes to
  • and class, matter in scientific exchange? What does Darwin do when he wants to introduce a
  • internet today? Essay writing How was Darwins early species theory discussed
  • sexual dimorphism (1862), Fritz Müller and climbing plants (1864), Hermann Müller and the
  • sex? [Henrietta Darwin, William Darwin, George Darwin, W. D. Fox] How was Victorian science
  • were debates over design in the natural world conducted? [F. J. Wedgwood, Asa Gray, J. F. W. …

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: 27 hits

  • 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
  • 4  [Pierquin de Gembloux 1839]. Said to be good by D r  L. Lindsay 5 [DAR *119: 1v. …
  • … [A. von Humboldt 1811] Richardsons Fauna Borealis [J. Richardson 182937] …
  • Brown 1814] & at the end of Congo voyage [R. Brown 1818]. (Hooker 923) 7  read
  • on Annals of Nat. Hist. [Jenyns 1838] Prichard; a 3 d . vol [Prichard 183647] Lawrence [W. …
  • Teneriffe. in Pers. Narr. [A. von Humboldt 181429] D r  Royle on Himmalaya types [Royle
  • reference to authors about E. Indian Islands 8 consult D r  Horsfield [Horsfield 1824] …
  • Paper on consciousness in brutes Blackwood June 1838 [J. F. Ferrie 1838]. H. C. Watson on
  • to White Nat. Hist of Selbourne [E. T. Bennett ed. 1837 and [J. Rennie] ed. 1833] read 19  : …
  • what have they written.? “Hunt” [J. Hunt 1806] p. 290
  • … [Reimarius 1760] The Highlands & Western Isl ds  letter to Sir W Scott [MacCulloch 1824
  • He is Horticulturist in France. Michaux, according to Hooker has written on topography of N. …
  • 183440]: In Portfolio ofabstracts34  —letter from Skuckard of books on Silk Worm
  • … ]. many very useful papers for me:— not in Hort. Soc. Hooker? Rogets Bridgewater Treatise
  • … —— Mauritius & C. of Good Hope Hooker recommends order [Backhouse
  • 1833] (Boot) Leslie life of Constable [Leslie 1843]. (Emma) (read) M rs  Frys Life
  • Public Library. 3  ‘BooksReadis in Emma Darwins hand. 4  “”Traité …
  • 6  The text from page [1v.] to page [6] is in Emma Darwins hand and was copied from Notebook C, …
  • to old Aristotle.’ ( LL 3: 252). 10  Emma Darwin wrote7 thinstead of3 d “ …
  • 12  A mistranscription forEntozoaby Emma Darwin. See Notebook C, p. 266 ( Notebooks ). …
  • wroteTransactto replaceJournalwritten in Emma Darwins hand. 16  Emma Darwin
  • … (Liebig 1851). 50  Probably Elizabeth Wedgwood. 51  This note is a
  • …  The text from page [1a] to half way down page [5a] is in Emma Darwins hand and is a copy of CDs
  • 1855The senses and the intellect . London. [2d ed. (1864) in Darwin Library.]  *128: 165