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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: 24 hits

  • … There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1878 on this website.  The full texts …
  • … lessen injury to leaves from radiation In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to …
  • … organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of experiments …
  • … of most advanced plant laboratories in Europe. While Francis was away, Darwin delighted in …
  • … 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 …
  • … ( 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 …
  • … (see Movement in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering …
  • … 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 …
  • … out that he missed sensitiveness of apex’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [11 May 1878] ). …
  • … the bassoon & apparently more by a high than a low note.’ Francis apparently played the musical …
  • … on plant movement were intensely collaborative, with Francis playing a more active role than ever. …
  • … exchanged when they were apart. At the start of June, Francis left to work at Sach’s laboratory in …
  • … ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 18 June [1878] ). While Francis was away, Darwin sent regular …
  • … to talk to, about my work, I scribble to you ( letter to Francis Darwin, 7 [July 1878] ). Two …
  • … is horrid not having you to discuss it with’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 20 [July 1878] ). …
  • … topics and dictating experimental method and design. Francis seems to have been allowed to work more …
  • … cells of oats to determine whether they had chlorophyll, Francis reported ( letter from Francis

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: 15 hits

  • … Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. …
  • … G. E. (1) Beaufort, Francis (5) …
  • … Boole, M. E. (3) Boott, Francis (7) …
  • … Dareste, Camille (9) Darwin family (1) …
  • … Darwin, Emma (191) Darwin, Francis (287) …
  • … Everest, Robert (1) Ewbank, Francis (1) …
  • … Fox, W. D. (225) Francis, George (1) …
  • … Galton, Erasmus (1) Galton, Francis (118) …
  • … Archibald (1) Lloyd, Francis (1) …
  • … Parker, Charles (2) Parker, Francis (1) …
  • … Walford, Edward (2) Walker, Francis (6) …
  • … George (2) Warner, Francis (1) …
  • … F. M. (2) Wedgwood, Francis (4) …
  • … (2) Wemyss-Charteris-Douglas, Francis (1) …
  • … White, Adam (2) White, Francis Buchanan (3) …

Francis Darwin

Summary

Known to his family as ‘Frank’, Charles Darwin’s seventh child himself became a distinguished scientist. He was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, initially studying mathematics, but then transferring to natural sciences.  Francis completed…

Matches: 8 hits

  • … Known to his family as ‘Frank’, Charles Darwin’s seventh child himself became a distinguished …
  • … but then transferring to natural sciences.  Francis completed his studies at Cambridge, …
  • … into debt and had kept the matter secret for some months. Darwin was very stern in his advice: ‘I …
  • … an old fellow as I daresay I appear to you’ (letter to Francis Darwin,  18 October [1870] ). …
  • … engaged to Amy Ruck in 1872; the couple married in 1874. Francis was already living in Down. and …
  • … a laboratory run by Julius von Sachs in Wurzburg.  Francis Darwin was elected to the Royal …
  • … his father had not been knighted, although in 1877 Charles Darwin was awarded an honorary degree …
  • … ( The Power of Movement in Plants, 1880). Perhaps Francis Darwin, whom the family regarded as a …

Francis Darwin marries

Summary

The Darwins' son, Francis, marries Amy Ruck; Francis starts work as his father's assistant

Matches: 1 hits

  • … The Darwins' son, Francis, marries Amy Ruck; Francis starts work as his father's assistant …

Francis Galton

Summary

Galton was a naturalist, statistician, and evolutionary theorist. He was a second cousin of Darwin’s, having descended from his grandfather, Erasmus. Born in Birmingham in 1822, Galton studied medicine at King’s College, London, and also read mathematics…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … and evolutionary theorist. He was a second cousin of Darwin’s, having descended from his grandfather …
  • … a natural historical narrative of the journey (Galton 1853). Darwin enjoyed and admired Galton’s …
  • … Hereditary Genius (1869), which contained an entry on the Darwin family, including the “author of …
  • … for subjects of natural history”. Shortly after Darwin published his preliminary hypothesis …
  • … on rabbits to test the theory. He reported regularly to Darwin on these experiments, which involved …
  • … Royal Society claiming that his results tended to disprove Darwin’s theory (Galton 1871). This …
  • … 1871 ). His views on inheritance continued to diverge from Darwin’s, however. He studied cases of …
  • … Galton shared his views in several lengthy letters, but Darwin struggled with the abstract reasoning …
  • … and infirmities, with the aim of improving the population. Darwin was less optimistic about such a …
  • … ( 4 January [1873] ). Like most of his contemporaries, Darwin continued to believe in the …
  • … men of science: their nature and nurture (Galton 1874), Darwin insisted that he had no particular …

Power of movement in plants

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Family experiments Darwin was an active and engaged father during his children's youth, involving them in his experiments and even occasionally using them as observational subjects. When his children…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … | Experiment Family experiments Darwin was an active and engaged father during …
  • … Man (1872). This teaching module focuses on work done by Darwin with his son Francis on …
  • … and his role as an attentive and affectionate father. Darwin's letters to Francis mix advice on …
  • … notice that although they come from the last decade of Darwin’s life, he is still interested in his …
  • … move In The Power of movement in plants Darwin continued his experiments with and …
  • … in behavioral responses. In the conclusion of the book Darwin argues that gradual modifications in …
  • … of movement in plants Letter 7346 - Darwin to Francis Darwin, 18 October 1870 …
  • … compromising their character. Letter 10517 - Darwin to Francis Darwin, 29 May 1876 …
  • … they would be worth making. Letter 11628 - Francis Darwin to Darwin, 24 July 1878 …

Francis Darwin born

Summary

Son, Francis Darwin, born

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Son, Francis Darwin, born …

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: 19 hits

  • … There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1876 on this website.  The full texts …
  • … 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 wife … poor creature, has won …
  • … regarding the ailments that were so much a feature of Darwin family life. But the calm was not to …
  • … a serious concussion from a riding accident, and George Darwin’s ill-health grew worse, echoing …
  • … the first member of the next generation of the family, with Francis and Amy’s child expected in …
  • … once, the labour of checking proofs proved a blessing, as Darwin sought solace for the loss of his …
  • … had involved much time and effort the previous year, and Darwin clearly wanted to focus his …
  • … When Smith, Elder and Company proposed reissuing two of Darwin’s three volumes of the geology of …
  • … single-volume edition titled Geological observations , Darwin resisted making any revisions at …
  • Darwin reassured his close friend Joseph Hooker that he and Francis would attend the meeting. Darwin …
  • … subject takes an opposite line’. Although he conceded that Francis had the best of an argument with …
  • … to propose the young rising star of Cambridge morphology, Francis Maitland Balfour, for fellowship …
  • … of the earliest available commercial models of typewriter. Francis Darwin and his wife, Amy, …
  • … point, and he was reliant on his son George and cousin Francis Galton for the calculations. ‘I have …
  • … in their research. He revelled in the praise heaped on Francis by George Henry Lewes for an article …
  • … chemical pycrotoxine in vivisection experiments ( letter to Francis Darwin, [1 May 1876] ). Darwin …
  • … 2 May [1876] ). Darwin even cautioned the otherwise healthy Francis, ‘Take care and do not overwork …
  • … first time to a large and healthy boy, the son of Amy and Francis. Just four days later, Darwin had …

Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?

Summary

Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 24 hits

  • … evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost …
  • … (1875) and  Cross and self fertilisation  (1876). Darwin’s son Francis became increasingly …
  • … career to become his father’s scientific secretary. Darwin had always relied on assistance from …
  • … the previous year. As was typical, readers wrote to Darwin personally to offer suggestions, …
  • … some of which were incorporated in a later edition. Darwin also contributed to discussions in the …
  • … in animals. The subject was brought closer to home by Francis Galton’s work on inherited talent, …
  • … Station at Naples. Plants that eat and feel? Darwin had resumed experiments on the …
  • … 12 January [1873] ).  Drosera  was the main focus of Darwin’s study of insectivorous plants, a …
  • … and alkaloids, and even electrical stimulation. On sending Darwin a specimen of the carnivorous  …
  • … ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 January 1873 ). Darwin found that the glandular hairs on the …
  • … to bend inward, so that the plant closed like a fist. Darwin was fascinated by this transmission of …
  • … plants , p. 63). The plants secreted a viscid fluid, which Darwin suspected attracted insects by …
  • … ., p. 17). Through a series of painstaking experiments, Darwin determined that the secretions …
  • … botanist Mary Treat, who performed experiments suggested by Darwin on the North American species  …
  • … Poisons and electrocution . . . His son Francis was assisting the histologist Edward Emanuel …
  • … of medical research in London. On the advice of Klein, Francis obtained a new microscope for his …
  • … on botany, he drew more on assistance from his son Francis. While visiting his fiancée, Amy Ruck, in …
  • … notes and take tracings of their burrows” ( letter from Francis Darwin, 14 August [1873] ). …
  • … [1873] ).  Shortly afterwards, it was arranged for Francis to rent a house in the village (Down …
  • … to H. E. Litchfield, 20 February 1873 ). The surgeon Francis Stephen Bennet Francois de Chaumont, …
  • … of instinct and inheritance when he was asked by his cousin Francis Galton to participate in a study …
  • … aims but regarded the project as “utopian” ( letter to Francis Galton, 4 January [1873] ). …
  • … and investing money very well” ( letter to Francis Galton, 28 May 1873 ). Among character traits, …
  • … his own character, he asked his sons to complete the list. Francis added to his father’s virtues: …

Darwin in letters, 1872: Job done?

Summary

'My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, 'is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work’, and the tenor of his correspondence throughout the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye…

Matches: 24 hits

  • … ‘My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, ‘is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can …
  • … books brought a strong if deceptive sense of a job now done: Darwin intended, he declared to Alfred …
  • …  27 July [1872] ). By the end of the year Darwin was immersed in two of the studies that …
  • … of books and papers, and the latter formed the subject of Darwin’s last book,  The formation of   …
  • … worms , published in the year before his death.  Despite Darwin’s declared intention to take up new …
  • … begun many years before. In his private life also, Darwin was in a nostalgic frame of mind, …
  • … on 30 January , shortly after correcting the proofs, and Darwin’s concern for the consolidation of …
  • … and sixth editions were costly to incorporate, and despite Darwin’s best efforts, set the final …
  • … closely involved in every stage of publication of his books, Darwin was keen to ensure that this …
  • … to bring out the new edition in the United States, Darwin arranged with Murray to have it …
  • … had to be reset.  The investment in stereotype reinforced Darwin’s intention to make no further …
  • … A worsening breach The criticisms against which Darwin had taken the greatest trouble to …
  • … objections to the theory of natural selection’, Darwin refuted point by point assertions published …
  • … Although Mivart was among those who wrote in January to wish Darwin a happy new year, before the …
  • … critical and anonymously published review of  Descent . Darwin’s supporters had rallied to his …
  • … The republication of Wright’s paper had been arranged by Darwin himself (see  Correspondence  vol. …
  • … that he would willingly acknowledge himself at fault if only Darwin would renounce `fundamental …
  • … letter to St G. J. Mivart, 8 January [1872] ).  Despite Darwin’s request that he drop the …
  • … 11 January [1872] ). 'I hate controversy,’ Darwin wrote later in the year, possibly with this …
  • … ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 3 August [1872] ).  Darwin's theories under siege …
  • … drawings shortly afterwards ( letter from Samuel Butler to Francis Darwin, [before 30 May 1872] , …
  • … the claims of spiritualists, and Darwin, through his cousin Francis Galton, had with some interest …
  • … however, incorporated in the second edition, produced by Francis Darwin after his father’s death. …
  • … new name on the list of volunteers: by the beginning of May, Francis Darwin, the Darwins’ third son, …

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest

Summary

The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression.…

Matches: 23 hits

  • … book out of my head’. But  a large proportion of Darwin’s time for the rest of the year was devoted …
  • … way, and the initial reception of the book in the press. Darwin fielded numerous letters from …
  • … offered sharp criticism or even condemnation. Darwin had expected controversy. ‘I shall be …
  • … a bare-faced manner.”‘ The most lively debate centred on Darwin’s evolutionary account of the …
  • … taste. Correspondence with his readers and critics helped Darwin to clarify, and in some cases …
  • … year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression. Darwin continued to investigate the …
  • … also brought a significant milestone for the family, as Darwin’s eldest daughter Henrietta was …
  • … during several past years, has been a great amusement’. Darwin had been working fairly continuously …
  • … work on species theory in the late 1830s. In recent years, Darwin had collected a wealth of material …
  • … to human evolution was comparatively small, reflecting Darwin’s aim of  showing kinship with animals …
  • … he is “torn to pieces” by people wanting copies’, Darwin wrote to his son Francis on 28 February …
  • … letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 March 1871 ). The profits for Darwin were considerable. After …
  • … man.’ Promoting the book As usual, Darwin did his best to obtain a wide and favourable …
  • … (see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix IV). Four of Darwin’s five sons received a copy, and his …
  • … received a special acknowledgment in the form of a gift. Darwin credited her for whatever he had …
  • … 1871). The geologist William Boyd Dawkins remarked on Darwin’s books’ reception amongst ‘artisans …
  • … liberal or orthodox. The American philosopher and journalist Francis Ellingwood Abbot incorporated …
  • … man & we were the best of friends’, he wrote to his son Francis on 28 February . However, …
  • Darwin had been receiving regular reports from his cousin Francis Galton on the progress of …
  • … in order to facilitate cross-circulation ( letter from Francis Galton, 13 September 1871 ). …
  • … science ( letter to Horace Darwin, [15 December 1871] ). Francis was now studying medicine at St …
  • … of Trinity College, planned a trip to America, and invited Francis and two Cambridge friends. Darwin …
  • …  be almost superhuman virtue to give it up’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 16 May [1871] ). 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: 26 hits

  • … There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1877 on this website.  The full texts …
  • … Ever since the publication of Expression , Darwin’s research had centred firmly on botany. The …
  • … of these projects would culminate in a major publication. Darwin’s botany was increasingly a …
  • … assisted his father’s research on movement and bloom, and Darwin in turn encouraged his son’s 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 …
  • … as dimorphic without comparing pollen-grains & stigmas’, Darwin remarked to Joseph Dalton …
  • … measurements of the size and number of pollen-grains, Darwin compared the fertility of individual …
  • … primrose and purple loosestrife. In the course of his work, Darwin found a number of other …
  • … dreadful work making out anything about dried flowers’, Darwin complained to Asa Gray on 8 March …
  • … which include heterstyled species. This pleases me.’. Darwin dedicated the book to Gray, ‘as a small …
  • … In the end, Darwin did not publish on the subject, but Francis later reported some of the results of …
  • … 25 August 1877 ). At Down House, Darwin and Francis devised a method of recording leaf …
  • … with thread, card, and bits of glass. Encouraging Francis Darwin greatly enjoyed …
  • … eminent German botanist Ferdinand Julius Cohn, who confirmed Francis’s observations: ‘the most …
  • … Infusoria’ ( letter from F. J. Cohn, 5 August 1877 ). Francis’s paper eventually appeared in the …
  • … had visited Down House and become friendly with George and Francis. He wrote to Francis on 24 …
  • … ‘As for “natural selection”’, he wrote to Francis on 25 November , ‘frankly to me it now seems a …
  • … for he began to receive petitions from strangers. The writer Francis Lloyd, who was in poor health …
  • … for his further work. Lloyd had written a critique of Francis Galton’s theory of heredity in 1876, …
  • … will allow me to send you a cheque for £10’ ( letter to [Francis Lloyd], 1 May [1877] ). Another …
  • … In the end, Darwin made the journey along with Emma. George, Francis, and Horace also attended. The …

Volume 24 (1876) now available

Summary

Birth, tragic death . . . and cardigan jackets.  Volume 24 of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin is now available.  Read more about Darwin's life in 1876 here.

Matches: 7 hits

  • … The year 1876 started energetically, with Darwin working on the first draft of his book on the …
  • … in August and the book was published by John Murray, Darwin’s usual publisher, in November; he …
  • … small quantity of work left in me for new matter. Darwin had to be disciplined about his …
  • … second edition of Orchids was published in January 1877; Darwin had been working on it since May …
  • … Annie’s death, though not so grievous to me. Darwin’s daughter-in-law, Amy, died a few …
  • … his parents; Emma and Charles took on the care of the baby. Francis too took refuge in work, …
  • … from a recently discovered collection of letters to Charles Darwin from his son William. They reveal …

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: 9 hits

  • … |  Editors and critics  |  Assistants Darwin’s correspondence helps bring to light a …
  • … community. Here is a selection of letters exchanged between Darwin and his workforce of women …
  • … Women: Letter 1194 - Darwin to Whitby, M. A. T., [12 August 1849] Darwin …
  • … garden. Letter 4523 - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, [6 June 1864] Darwin’s …
  • … Darwin, [9 January 1871] Darwin’s brother-in-law, Francis, reports on the appearance and …
  • … tells her eldest son, William, that her third eldest son, Francis, is receiving help with his plant …
  • … February 1857] Darwin’s nephew, Edmund, writes to Francis with the results of his …
  • … in his home. Letter 10517  - Darwin to Francis, F., [29 May 1876] Darwin …
  • … Letter 10517  - Darwin t o Francis, F., [29 May 1876] Darwin gives his son, Francis

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year

Summary

The year 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working on second editions of Coral reefs and Descent of man; the rest of the year was mostly devoted to further research on insectivorous plants. A…

Matches: 23 hits

  • … dispute over an anonymous review that attacked the work of Darwin’s son George dominated the second …
  • … and traveller Alexander von Humboldt’s 105th birthday, Darwin obliged with a reflection on his debt …
  • … ). The death of a Cambridge friend, Albert Way, caused Darwin’s cousin, William Darwin Fox, to …
  • … from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such reminiscences led Darwin to the self-assessment, ‘as for one …
  • … I feel very old & helpless The year started for Darwin with a week’s visit to …
  • … Andrew Clark, whom he had been consulting since August 1873. Darwin had originally thought that …
  • …  ( letter to B. J. Sulivan, 6 January [1874] ). Darwin mentioned his poor health so frequently in …
  • … 1874 ). Séances, psychics, and sceptics Darwin excused himself for reasons of …
  • … by George Henry Lewes and Marian Evans (George Eliot), but Darwin excused himself, finding it too …
  • … the month, another Williams séance was held at the home of Darwin’s cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood. Those …
  • … imposter’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 27 January 1874 ). Darwin agreed that it was ‘all imposture’ …
  • … stop word getting to America of the ‘strange news’ that Darwin had allowed ‘a spirit séance’ at his …
  • … the first three months of the year and, like many of Darwin’s enterprises in the 1870s, were family …
  • … 21, letter to Smith, Elder & Co., 17 December [1873] ). Darwin himself had some trouble in …
  • … had cost twenty-four shillings.) Murray’s partner, Robert Francis Cooke, informed Darwin that the …
  • … (see G. B. Airy ed. 1881). Darwin’s third son Francis married Amy Ruck, the sister of a …
  • … work on insectivorous plants. Amy drew a plant and Francis was disappointed that they seemed not to …
  • … from Cornwall, but Darwin was unwell when it arrived, so Francis worked on the tiny bladders under …
  • … 1874 , and  Correspondence  vol. 21, letter from Francis Darwin,  [11 October 1873] ). …
  • … work’ ( letter to D. F. Nevill, 18 September [1874] ).Francis’s new wife, Amy, drew the plant ( …
  • … After his wife read  Expression , the military surgeon Francis François de Chaumont sent …
  • … a donation of £100, and £10 each from his sons George and Francis ( letter to Anton Dohrn, 7 March …
  • … a photograph of the station to be sent to Darwin by Francis Maitland Balfour; Darwin offered to try …

Darwin in letters, 1869: Forward on all fronts

Summary

At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  Origin. He may have resented the interruption to his work on sexual selection and human evolution, but he spent forty-six days on the task. Much of the…

Matches: 28 hits

  • … At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  …
  • … appeared at the end of 1866 and had told his cousin William Darwin Fox, ‘My work will have to stop a …
  • … material on emotional expression. Yet the scope of Darwin’s interests remained extremely broad, and …
  • … plants, and earthworms, subjects that had exercised Darwin for decades, and that would continue to …
  • … Carl von  Nägeli and perfectibility Darwin’s most substantial addition to  Origin  was a …
  • … a Swiss botanist and professor at Munich (Nägeli 1865). Darwin had considered Nägeli’s paper …
  • … principal engine of change in the development of species. Darwin correctly assessed Nägeli’s theory …
  • … in most morphological features (Nägeli 1865, p. 29). Darwin sent a manuscript of his response (now …
  • … are & must be morphological’. The comment highlights Darwin’s apparent confusion about Nägeli’s …
  • … ‘purely morphological’. The modern reader may well share Darwin’s uncertainty, but Nägeli evidently …
  • … pp. 28–9). In further letters, Hooker tried to provide Darwin with botanical examples he could use …
  • … problems of heredity Another important criticism that Darwin sought to address in the fifth …
  • … prevailing theory of blending inheritance that Jenkin and Darwin both shared, would tend to be lost …
  • … ( Origin  5th ed., pp. 103–4). The terminology that Darwin and others employed in these matters ( …
  • … ‘I must have expressed myself atrociously’, Darwin wrote to Alfred Russel Wallace on 2 February , …
  • … of  Origin  was the result of correspondence between Darwin and the geologist James Croll. In the …
  • … but it was his theory of alternate ice ages that piqued Darwin’s interest the most. He wrote, ‘this …
  • … ( letter to James Croll, 31 January [1869] ). Darwin had argued ( Origin , pp. 377–8) that plant …
  • … would always exist. In  Origin  5th ed., pp. 450–61, Darwin accounted for the survival of tropical …
  • … James Croll,  31 January [1869] ). Croll could not supply Darwin with an estimate of the age of the …
  • … ( letter from James Croll, 4 February 1869 ).  Darwin did not directly challenge Thomson’s …
  • … 19 March [1869] ). Towards Descent Once Darwin had completed revisions of the …
  • … and overseas. The dog-breeder George Cupples worked hard on Darwin’s behalf, sending a steady stream …
  • … of concern were received for months afterwards. Francis Galton: Hereditary genius and …
  • … Emma read aloud from a new book by Darwin’s half-cousin, Francis Galton. The work,  Hereditary …
  • … is an eminently  important difference’ ( letter to Francis Galton,  23 December [1869] ). …
  • … of inheritance through experiments on rabbits ( letter from Francis Galton, 11 December 1869 ). …
  • … the first to give me freedom of thought’ ( letter from Francis Galton, 24 December 1869 ). …

All Darwin's letters from 1873 go online for the anniversary of Origin

Summary

To celebrate the 158th anniversary of the publication of Origin of species on 24 November, the full transcripts and footnotes of over 500 letters from and to Charles Darwin in 1873 are now available online. Read about Darwin's life in 1873 through his…

Matches: 10 hits

  • … and footnotes of over 500 letters from and to Charles Darwin in 1873 are now available online. …
  • … father or an atheist. Here are some highlights from Darwin's correspondence in 1873: …
  • … to J. D. Hooker, 23 October [1873] ) In 1873, Darwin continued work on insectivorous …
  • … , published in 1875. Investigating the sundew's sensitivity, Darwin found that the glandular …
  • … to bend inward, so that the plant closed like a fist. Darwin was fascinated by this transmission of …
  • … When he jokingly mentioned his need for staff, his son Francis proposed that he give up his medical …
  • … appeared anonymously in the Edinburgh Review in April. Darwin asked one of his Scottish …
  • … to T. H. Huxley, 23 April 1873 ) Darwin wrote this to Thomas Henry Huxley, in the hope …
  • … some love of the new and marvellous  ( Letter to Francis Galton, 28 May 1873 ) …
  • … investing money very well; very methodical in my habits.' Francis added to his father's …

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings

Summary

‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 25 hits

  • … There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from 1875 on this website.  The full texts of the …
  • … Editions Plants always held an important place in Darwin’s theorising about species, and …
  • … his periods of severe illness. Yet on 15 January 1875 , Darwin confessed to his close friend …
  • … way to continuous writing and revision, activities that Darwin found less gratifying: ‘I am slaving …
  • … bad.’ The process was compounded by the fact that Darwin was also revising another manuscript …
  • … coloured stamens.’ At intervals during the year, Darwin was diverted from the onerous task of …
  • … zoologist St George Jackson Mivart. In April and early May, Darwin was occupied with a heated …
  • … chapter of the controversy involved a slanderous attack upon Darwin’s son George, in an anonymous …
  • … on 12 January , breaking off all future communication. Darwin had been supported during the affair …
  • … Society of London, and a secretary of the Linnean Society, Darwin’s friends had to find ways of …
  • … pp. 16–17). ‘How grandly you have defended me’, Darwin wrote on 6 January , ‘You have also …
  • … in public. ‘Without cutting him direct’, he advised Darwin on 7 January , ‘I should avoid him, …
  • … & again’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 16 January 1875 ). Darwin had also considered taking up …
  • … , ‘I feel now like a pure forgiving Christian!’ Darwin’s ire was not fully spent, however, …
  • … in the same Quarterly article that attacked George. Darwin raised the matter at the end of the …
  • … to rest, another controversy was brewing. In December 1874, Darwin had been asked to sign a memorial …
  • … Hensleigh and Frances Wedgwood. She had corresponded with Darwin about the evolution of the moral …
  • Darwin had become acquainted with Klein when his son Francis was studying medicine in London. Klein …
  • … performed on animals in previous years by Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton. These had been …
  • … manuscripts and proofs, Darwin now relied heavily on his son Francis, who had made the decision in …
  • … wrote, ‘I beg ten thousand pardon & more’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [ c . February 1875?] …
  • … plants , and moved on to Variation 2d ed., Francis signed himself, ‘Your affect son … the …
  • … 219.1: 89). The most eminent of Darwin’s guests was Francis, duke of Teck, a German prince …
  • Darwin could not keep up, and on 22 July , he had Francis reply: ‘My Father desires me to say …
  • … on 2 December, the same meeting at which Romanes and Francis Darwin were made fellows. But Thiselton …

Evolution: Selected Letters of Charles Darwin 1860-1870

Summary

This selection of Charles Darwin’s letters includes correspondence with his friends and scientific colleagues around the world; letters by the critics who tried to stamp out his ideas, and by admirers who helped them to spread. It takes up the story of…

Matches: 10 hits

  • … This selection of Charles Darwin’s letters includes correspondence with his friends and scientific …
  • … admirers who helped them to spread. It takes up the story of Darwin’s life in 1860, in the immediate …
  • … of publication of Descent of Man in 1871. In this period Darwin became a public figure, and the …
  • … worked up, or their religious doubts and concerns for Darwin’s own soul. Darwin himself used letters …
  • … world a questionnaire on the expression of the emotions. Darwin also continued to confide in his …
  • … yet been pointed out to me. No doubt many will be. Darwin to Huxley, 1860. …
  • … what you think about the derivation of Species … Darwin to Charles Lyell, 1863. …
  • … was quite out of balance once during our voyage … Darwin to Hooker (on hearing of Robert …
  • … that the necks of your horses are badly galled … Darwin to a local landowner, 1866. …
  • … now, whether you owe any more … Darwin to his son Francis, 1870. …

Casting about: Darwin on worms

Summary

Earthworms featured in the news announcement in May 2014 that a citizen science project had been launched to map the distribution of earthworms across Britain (BBC Today programme, 26 May 2014). The general understanding of the role earthworms play in…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … 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 Darwin’s fears that a book on earthworms might …
  • … out in his Natural History of Selborne of 1789 (a book Darwin claimed had ‘much 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 …
  • … of a metal whistle and to being shouted at, but also to Francis Darwin playing the bassoon, and to …
  • … made calculations about larger castings on poorer soils, and Francis helped with calculations …
  • … . After a while, looking for earthworm casts became a habit; Francis noticed worm casts in fir woods …
  • … 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 …
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