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Alfred Russel Wallace

Summary

Wallace was a leading Victorian naturalist, with wide-ranging interests from biogeography and evolutionary theory to spiritualism and politics. He was born in 1823 in Usk, a small town in south-east Wales, and attended a grammar school in Hertford. At the…

Matches: 14 hits

  • Wallace was a leading Victorian naturalist, with wide-ranging interests from biogeography
  • to spiritualism and politics. He was born in 1823 in Usk, a small town in south-east Wales, and
  • natural history. Despite losing most of his collection in a fire on the return to England in 1852, …
  • especially on geographical distribution (the so-calledWallace linedividing Indian and
  • the problem of species change. In 1857, Darwin and Wallace exchanged several letters on
  • species, along with Darwins encouraging words, that led Wallace to send a draft of his own theory
  • an injustice & never demands justice” (14 April 1869). But Wallace continued, both privately and
  • it out in details I had never thought of, years before I had a ray of light on the subject, & my
  • means of inducing you to write & publish at once.” Wallace returned to London in 1862. …
  • and prone to misinterpretation (see letter from A. R. Wallace, 2 July 1866). Wallace became one of
  • selection in the development of mental and moral faculties. Wallace first expressed reservations
  • open to scientific investigation (see letter from A. R. Wallace, 18 April [1869]). Wallaces views
  • 17 June 1876 and 7 January 1881, and the letter from A. R. Wallace, 29 January 1881). Wallace was a
  • each other, though in one sense rivals” (letter to A. R. Wallace, 20 April [1870]). Wallace

Controversy

Summary

The best-known controversies over Darwinian theory took place in public or in printed reviews. Many of these were highly polemical, presenting an over-simplified picture of the disputes. Letters, however, show that the responses to Darwin were extremely…

Matches: 19 hits

  • Disagreement & Respect | Conduct of Debate | Darwin & Wallace The best-known
  • sharp theoretical differences with him; on the other hand, a number of his public critics assisted
  • quickly deteriorated and Darwin came to regard him as a bitter enemy. Darwin and Sedgwick
  • but he assures Sedgwick he does not send his book out of a spirit of bravado, but a want of respect. …
  • … “grand principle natural selectionisbut a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, …
  • true-hearted friend. Letter 2555Darwin, C. R. to Sedgwick, Adam, 26 Nov [1859] …
  • of his book. He is grievedto have shocked a man whom I sincerely honour”. He mentions that he has
  • Letter 2526Owen, Richard to Darwin, C. R., 12 Nov 1859 Owen says to Darwin he will welcome
  • asheterodox”. Letter 2575Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, [10 Dec 1859] …
  • Letter 2580Darwin, C. R. to Owen, Richard, 13 Dec [1859] Darwin responds to Owens remarks
  • eminent in science. Letter 2767Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 25 Apr [1860] Darwin
  • aggressive tactics. Letter 5500Darwin, C. R. to Haeckel, E. P. A., 12 Apr [1867] …
  • Letter 5533Haeckel, E. P. A. to Darwin, C. R., 12 May 1867 Haeckel thanks Darwin for the
  • attack is essential. Letter 5544Darwin, C. R. to Haeckel, E. P. A., 21 May [1867] …
  • theory in England. Darwin and Wallace Much has been written
  • years, was very upset at the prospect of losing priority to Wallace, while at the same time wanting
  • much about the social structure of Victorian science. Wallace would become one of Darwin's most
  • to Lyell and encloses a manuscript by naturalist A. R. Wallace. Darwin has been forestalled. “ . . . …
  • 1858] Darwin writes to Lyell saying that everything in Wallaces sketch also appears in his

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: 21 hits

  • Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  On the origin of
  • his cousin William Darwin Fox, ‘My work will have to stop a bit for I must prepare a new edit. of
  • views on all points will have to be modified.— Well it is a beginning, & that is something’ ( …
  • Darwins most substantial addition to  Origin  was a response to a critique of natural selection
  • of species. Darwin correctly assessed Nägelis theory as a major challenge requiring a thorough and
  • myself atrociously’, Darwin wrote to Alfred Russel Wallace on 2 February , ‘I meant to say
  • now see is possible or probable’ (see also letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 January [1869] , and
  • Thomsons work challenged by both Thomas Henry Huxley and WallaceHe confided to Huxley, ‘I find
  • of information which I have sent prove of any service to M r . Darwin I can supply him with much
  • … . Natural selection and humans: differences with Wallace But even as Darwins research
  • from you, & I am very sorry for it On 24 March, Wallace wrote to Darwin about a
  • which is to me absolutely unassailable’.  In the article, Wallace claimed that certain human
  • civilization. Such features had only emerged, according to Wallace, through the agency ofa Power
  • laws in definite directions and for special ends’ ([Wallace] 1869b, pp. 3934). Darwin was
  • … & proximate cause in regard to Man’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ).  More
  • and the bird of paradise  (Wallace 1869a; letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 March [1869] ), and
  • an injustice & never demands justice’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ). …
  • Prompted by a request from a French student, Louis Rérolle, to translate  On the various
  • Sweetland Dallass edition of Fritz Müllers  Für Darwin  (Dallas trans. 1869). The book, an
  • creation, if he is not completely staggered after reading y r  essay’. The work received a
  • of the whole meeting was decidedly Huxleys answer to D r  M c Cann. He literally poured boiling

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions

Summary

Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, with full debunking below...

Matches: 1 hits

  • … myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, …

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: 18 hits

  • … and accountant John Jenner Weir, ‘If any man wants to gain a good opinion of his fellow man, he …
  • … or in satisfying female preference in the mating process. In a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace in …
  • … the races of man’ (Correspondence vol. 12, letter to A. R. Wallace, 28 [May 1864] ). …
  • … on the subject to the zoologist Albert Günther: ‘a drunkard might as well say, he would drink a …
  • … early as 1865, the two-volume work appeared in January 1868. A final delay caused by the indexing …
  • … manuscript to the publisher in February 1867, and had spent a good deal of that year reading and …
  • … Murray to intervene, complaining on 9 January , ‘M r . Dallas’ delay … is intolerable … I am …
  • … it was by Gray himself, but Darwin corrected him: ‘D r  Gray would strike me in the face, but not …
  • … . It is a disgrace to the paper’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 24 February [1868] ). The review was …
  • … entomologist Benjamin Dann Walsh on 25 March 1868 . Wallace maintained that males got whatever …
  • … as life he wd find the odour sexual!’ ( letter to A . R. Wallace, 16 September [1868] ). Francis …
  • … south of France to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood on 9 Novembe r, describing sphinx moths that were …
  • … of natural selection. Darwin resumed the debate with Wallace that he had begun the previous year, …
  • … this evening I have swung back to old position’. Wallace persisted, producing a fifteen-point …
  • … question of the “Origin of Species”’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 4 October 1868 ). …
  • … hands of the enemies of Nat. Selection’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 8 [April] 1868 ). …
  • … mission stations in Victoria, Australia ( letter from R. B. Smyth, 13 August 1868 ); lengthy …
  • … lepidopterist Adolf Speyer and the plant geographer August Röse were ‘ardent followers of [Darwin& …

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…

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  • the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye to the crafting of his legacy.  …
  • animals  in November, the year marked the culmination of a programme of publication that can be
  • in relation to sex , published in 1871, these books brought a strong if deceptive sense of a job
  • earthworms in shaping the environmentThe former led to a series of books and papers, and the
  • years before. In his private life also, Darwin was in a nostalgic frame of mind, picking up
  • June the previous yearHe intended the edition to be a popular one that would bring his most
  • should be affordable: ‘do you not think 6s is too dear for a cheap Edit? Would not 5s be better? . . …
  • set the final price at 7 s.  6 d.  ( letter from RFCooke, 12 February 1872 ). …
  • translations of both  Descent  and  Origin   was a particular frustration: `I naturally desire
  • letter to St GJMivart,  11 January [1872] ). A worsening breach The criticisms
  • in the sixth edition were those made by Mivart himself. In a new chapter onmiscellaneous
  • or the mouth parts of the baleen whale. Alfred Russel Wallace was one of several correspondents to
  • of Whale  & duck  most beautiful’ ( letter from ARWallace, 3 March 1872 ). …
  • Mivart was among those who wrote in January to wish Darwin a happy new year, before the month was
  • … `chiefly perhaps because I do it badly’ ( letter to ARWallace, 3 August [1872] ).  …
  • to JDHooker, 12 July [1872] ). Darwin and Wallace: diverging views Indignation on
  • … & new views which are daily turning up’ ( letter to ARWallace, 28 August [1872] ).  …
  • you agreed to let them have it for love!!!’ ( letter from RFCooke, 1 August 1872 ). It
  • …  & have not taken care of ourselves’ ( letter from RFCooke, 20 November 1872 ). A
  • in the face of a disappointed public ( letter from RFCooke, 25 November 1872 ). Among those
  • temporary darkness by an industrial strike ( letter from RFCooke, 6 December 1872 ).  Caught

Darwin in letters, 1867: A civilised dispute

Summary

Charles Darwin’s major achievement in 1867 was the completion of his large work, The variation of animals and plants under domestication (Variation). The importance of Darwin’s network of correspondents becomes vividly apparent in his work on expression in…

Matches: 22 hits

  • to correct proofs, and just when completion seemed imminent, a further couple of months were needed
  • oversized two-volume  Variation  and instead write a short (as he then expected) ‘Essay on Man’. …
  • selection in forming human races, and there was also to be a chapter on the meaning and cause of the
  • … ), published in 1871, and the chapter on expression into a bookThe expression of the emotions in
  • for decades, it was only now that he began to work with a view to publishing his observations. …
  • his work on expression in 1867, as he continued to circulate a list of questions on human expression
  • Darwin corrected them. Closer to home, two important works, a book by the duke of Argyll, and an
  • defence of the theory in the capable hands of Alfred Russel Wallace. At the same time, Darwin was
  • self-sterility, pollination, and seed dispersal with a growing network of correspondents who worked
  • atmosphere that he so much needed in what was becoming a highly combative and emotional arena. …
  • chapter and remained doubtful whether or not to include a chapteron Man’. After a few days, he
  • Darwin also introduced the subject to Alfred Russel Wallace, who suggested in his response of 11
  • … “supplemental remarks on expression”’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, [1217] March [1867] ). Darwins
  • debated the topic on a theoretical level was Alfred Russel Wallace. In a letter to Wallace written
  • aviary to see whether this was the case ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 24 February [1867] ). He also
  • butterflies resulted from sexual selection was implicit. Wallaces response contained much more than
  • being challenged at a fundamental level. In his response to Wallace ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 26
  • the course of several months. In the 1867 correspondence, Wallace steered clear of the issue of
  • than I c d  have succeeded in doing’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 29 April [1867] ). Thus Darwin
  • Wallace published a long article, ‘Creation by law’ (A. R. Wallace 1867c), which responded to Jenkin
  • wish the artist had drawn a better sphynx’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 12 and 13 October [1867] ). …
  • asvery rich from the nonsense talked’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 12 and 13 October [1867] ). …

Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

Matches: 23 hits

  • without doubt, the most momentous of Darwins life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady
  • by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace. This letter led to the first
  • andbitter opponents’; compiling corrections for a second and then a third edition of his book; and
  • that my book w  d  be successful; but I never even built a castle-in-the air of such success as it
  • shows that at any one time Darwin was engaged in a number of projects, fitting together the final
  • the problem of bees The chapter on instinct posed a number of problems for Darwin. ‘I find my
  • Among these, the cell-making instincts of hive-bees posed a particular challenge to his overall
  • constructed by hive-bees had long been celebrated as a classic example of divine design in nature. …
  • works. The question was, Do the species of large genera have a higher proportion of distinct
  • varieties, or as I look at them incipient species ought, as a general rule, to be now forming. Where
  • in larger genera, but they were not certain. This was a question new to the experts. Darwin was
  • … . condemn allmy lifes work—& that I confess made me a little lowbut I c d . have borne it, …
  • breeds of animals have been developed. To this end, in a final experiment with fowls, he attempted
  • bankiva . Similarly, he asked his son William, as well as a number of foreign correspondents, to
  • the occurrence of reversion in nature. Alfred Russel Wallace and the rush to publish
  • by the arrival of the now-famous letter from Alfred Russel Wallace, enclosing an essay in which
  • in the letter he subsequently wrote to Charles Lyell, as Wallace had requested, informing Lyell of
  • to Lyell. ‘I never saw a more striking coincidence. if Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in
  • Lyell. He simply dated the letter18and referred to Wallaces letter as having been received
  • H. Lewis McKinney, both of whom believe that Darwin received Wallaces communication before 18 June. …
  • 1972, pp. 13840). The cover of the letter to Bates bears Wallaces directionvia Southamptonand
  • Ju 3 58’. Brooks maintains that Darwin received Wallaces letter even earlier, perhaps as
  • species manuscript and appropriated, without acknowledgment, Wallaces theory of divergence. Then, …

Religion

Summary

Design|Personal Belief|Beauty|The Church Perhaps the most notorious realm of controversy over evolution in Darwin's day was religion. The same can be said of the evolution controversy today; however the nature of the disputes and the manner in…

Matches: 15 hits

  • … although he tended to avoid the subject as much as possible. A number of correspondents tried to …
  • … nor is it clear that by challenging design, he provided a position completely incompatible with all …
  • … point of departure reviews of Origin . The second is a single letter from naturalist A. R. …
  • … Darwin and Gray Letter 2814 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 22 May [1860] Darwin …
  • … “brute force”. Letter 2855 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 3 July [1860] Darwin …
  • … for the attention now given to the subject. He poses Gray a question on design in nature, as he is …
  • … He also discusses his views on design. He shares a witty thought experiment about an angel. …
  • … about design. Letter 6167 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 8 May [1868] Darwin writes …
  • … idea of Pangenesis”. He talks about Gray giving him a good slap at his concluding paragraph, where …
  • … at the base of my precipice”. Darwin and Wallace Letter 5140 — Wallace, A. R
  • … of the fittest” instead of “Natural Selection”. Wallace urges Darwin to stress frequency of …
  • … Letter 441 — Wedgwood, Emma to Darwin, C. R., [21–22 Nov 1838] In this letter, his soon-to-be …
  • … Letter 471 — Darwin, Emma to Darwin, C. R., [c. Feb 1839] Emma discusses Darwin’s religious …
  • … Letter 2534 — Kingsley, Charles to Darwin, C. R., 18 Nov 1859 Clergyman Charles Kingsley …
  • … beauty. Letter 5648 — Darwin, C. R. to Wallace, A. R., 12–13 Oct [1867] Darwin …

Origin

Summary

Darwin’s most famous work, Origin, had an inauspicious beginning. It grew out of his wish to establish priority for the species theory he had spent over twenty years researching. Darwin never intended to write Origin, and had resisted suggestions in 1856…

Matches: 21 hits

  • and had resisted suggestions in 1856 that he publish a short version of his theory. Instead, he
  • supporting evidence, and to this end was steadily writing a work he called hisbig book’ . His
  • relating to Darwins species theory together with Wallaces essay at the Linnean Society of London, …
  • children and he intended to remove the family from Down for a few weeks to the Isle of Wight. …
  • that Darwin might be able to have 100 to 150 pages in aseparate supplemental numberof the
  • objection as strongly as I could. I did not feel myself a dissenter from or opponent to your views, …
  • spirits remained low. ‘ We are too old & feeble a party for anywhere but home ’, he wrote from
  • to whole affair to him: By an odd coincidence, M r  Wallace in the Malay Archipelago sent
  • ago; & both of them have urged me so strongly to publish a fuller abstract, that I have resolved
  • By 30 July, now more comfortably settled in a house on the Isle of Wight, and having started work on
  • positive frame of mind. ‘ I pass my time by doing daily a couple of hours of my Abstract & I
  • … ‘with greater ease & leisure’. Although he thought ita queer plan to give an abstract of an
  • When work on the big book was interrupted by the arrival of Wallaces essay, he had only just
  • how to account for the cell-making instincts of bees, a challenge to his theory of natural selection
  • which I can see are many & grave. I am now writing a pretty full abstract of all my notions on
  • relieved to learn from the Linnean Society that he could be a little more expansive. ‘I will try not
  • in mid August, he recommenced his work on pigeons and spent a nearly a month skeletonising them and
  • the visit and expressed his hope that Tegetmeier would bring a bee hivewith incipient cellsas
  • in January 1859, when he received a (now lost) letter from Wallace, expressing satisfaction with the
  • very sure what he would say’, Darwin admitted, adding that Wallacemust be an amiable man. ’ …
  • views were apparent when he reported to Wallace thatD r . Hooker has become almost as

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: 6 hits

  • surrounding Origins publication: Alfred Russel Wallace , co-discoverer of natural selection; …
  • Origins best known defender. Most of the letters from Wallace are after Origins appearance, …
  • for him; his cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood wrote about a violent shower of fish , but also about
  • Innes , vicar of the Darwinsparish of Down in Kent, and a lifelong friend of both Charles and
  • James Sulivan , Lieutenant on HMS Beagle , sent a cross-section of fossil-bearing strata
  • Frederick Smith A. G. Butler John Lubbock R. I. Lynch J. B. Burdon Sanderson

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution

Summary

The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex’.  Descent was the culmination of over three decades of observations and reflections on…

Matches: 19 hits

  • was far more extensive than Darwin had anticipated. As a resultDescent , like  Variation , …
  • the material on emotion; it would eventually appear as a separate book in 1872 ( Expression of the
  • of natural selection to humans from Alfred Russel Wallace and St George Jackson Mivart, and heated
  • Lyell, ‘thank all the powers above & below, I shall be a man again & not a horrid grinding
  • eighteen years of age. Darwin clearly expected her to make a considerable contribution, instructing
  • He worried that parts of the book weretoo like a Sermon: who wd ever have thought that I shd. turn
  • disagreed: ‘Certainly to have you turned Parson will be a change I expect I shall want it enlarging
  • looking exclusively into his own mind’, and himself, ‘a degraded wretch looking from the outside
  • side of human descent. On 7 March 1870, Darwin made a note on the shape of human ears: ‘W. has seen
  • made drawings of ears of monkeys & shortly afterwards he saw a man with tip & instantly
  • statue of Puck, the mischievous fairy in Shakespeares  A midsummer nights dreamDarwin
  • sketch in  Descent , and discussed thetipas a rudimentary organ, describing its frequency and
  • 1: 22-3). Humans as animals: facial muscles A more troubling anatomical feature for
  • debate over human evolution grew more heated. Alfred Russel Wallace had expressed reservations about
  • year (see  Correspondence  vol. 17, letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ). His views were
  • … (in retrograde direction) naturalist’ (letter to A. R.Wallace, 26 January [1870]). …
  • they had in the past to sustain goodwill and mutual respect. Wallaces new book, titled  …
  • When he received the book, Darwin was full of praise for Wallacesmodesty and candour’. ‘I hope it
  • each other, though in one sense rivals’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 20 April [1870] ). Darwin

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

  • … and cosseting regarding the ailments that were so much a feature of Darwin family life. But the calm …
  • … by anxiety and deep grief. In May, William Darwin suffered a serious concussion from a riding …
  • … Cross and self fertilisation , that the family suffered a devastating loss. The Darwins must have …
  • … expected in September. Their joy at the safe delivery of a healthy boy was soon replaced by anguish …
  • … death. For once, the labour of checking proofs proved a blessing, as Darwin sought solace for the …
  • … his anxiety about Francis. By the end of the year there was a different order at Down House with …
  • … Year's resolutions Darwin began the year by making a resolution. He would in future …
  • … Origin for the very last time, and made minor changes to a reprint of the second edition of …
  • … voyage, Volcanic islands and South America , in a new single-volume edition titled …
  • … was nevertheless ‘firmly resolved not even to look at a single proof ’. Perhaps Carus’s meticulous …
  • … to Asa Gray, 28 January 1876). Revising Orchids was less a return to old work than part of the …
  • … Autobiography’ (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). During a two-week holiday after finishing Cross and self …
  • … the development of his mind and character, although this was a private document intended in the …
  • … in the Vegetable Kingdom”. ... I hope also to republish a revised edition of my book on Orchids, …
  • … wrote with the good news that he could restore Darwin to a religious life. This transformation would …
  • … and who had succeeded in giving him pain ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 17 June 1876 ). Although …
  • … without the least foundation’, Darwin told Alfred Russel Wallace on 17 June . It was the still …
  • … to canvass fellows of the society to support Lankester at a second election ( Correspondence vol. …
  • … the ‘utter disgrace’ of blackballing so distinguished a zoologist ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 …
  • … for scientific purposes did not have so satisfactory a conclusion. The controversial issue had …
  • … was the criterion for a physiological species. Alfred Russel Wallace was not convinced. ‘I am afraid …

Darwin in letters, 1856-1857: the 'Big Book'

Summary

In May 1856, Darwin began writing up his 'species sketch’ in earnest. During this period, his working life was completely dominated by the preparation of his 'Big Book', which was to be called Natural selection. Using letters are the main…

Matches: 18 hits

  • … this manuscript. Although advised by Lyell to publish only a brief outline—probably more for the …
  • … was reluctant to squeeze his expansive material into such a small compass and soon abandoned Lyell’s …
  • … quantities of information, pursuing his own experiments in a variety of different areas, analysing …
  • … still felt cautious in expressing his views before a large scientific audience and anxious to ensure …
  • … valued the views of Thomas Henry Huxley, at that time a somewhat precariously placed lecturer and …
  • … and this, since it was composed so many years later, is not a safe guide to his pre- Origin …
  • … plants to be more hairy than their lowland relatives. But a last-minute check with Hooker revealed …
  • … but all they actually showed was the self-evident fact that a large genus was more likely to contain …
  • … among marine invertebrates. His request led Huxley to make a note for future reference, ‘Darwin, an …
  • … also encouraged him to predict that trees would tend to show a separation of the sexes, a proposal …
  • … Darwin carried out his researches with relish and published a short notice about the problem in  …
  • … (see  Correspondence  vol. 3), he had begun in 1855 a series of researches designed to explain how …
  • … was the series of experiments begun in 1855 based on soaking a wide variety of seeds in salt water …
  • …  experiments. Franky said to me, “why sh d  not a bird be killed (by hawk, lightning, apoplexy, …
  • … He felt that the mud on birds’ feet probably had a role to play in the distribution of seeds and …
  • … Joseph Parslow, the butler, to shoot partridges after a heavy rainfall so that Darwin could count …
  • … the surviving correspondence that Darwin initially wrote to Wallace in order to obtain specimens of …
  • … and the preparation of his manuscript ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 1 May 1857 ) seem innocuous and …

Before Origin: the ‘big book’

Summary

Darwin began ‘sorting notes for Species Theory’ on 9 September 1854, the very day he concluded his eight-year study of barnacles (Darwin's Journal). He had long considered the question of species. In 1842, he outlined a theory of transmutation in a…

Matches: 24 hits

  • considered the question of species. In 1842, he outlined a theory of transmutation in a short pencil
  • wasalmost convincedthat species were not immutablea view so controversial that it was, he
  • … & on the question of what are species’, and possesseda grand body of factsfrom which he
  • Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation caused a publishing sensation in October 1844, the
  • contained several points that challenged his theory. ‘ In a year or twos time, when I shall be at
  • … & comparing them, in order in some 2 or 3 years to write a book with all the facts & …
  • he anticipated, would provideno amusementand be ahorrid bore ’. Contrary to Darwins
  • proved enjoyable and enlightening , and the birds were a delight to his young daughter
  • as Darwin began his pigeon breeding programme, he started a series ofseed-salting experimentsto
  • expertise, Darwin inquired: ‘ will you tell me at a guess how long an immersion in sea-water
  • expressed his satisfaction that the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who was collecting in the
  • theoretical ideas’. ‘I am a firm believer’, he told Wallace, ‘ that without speculation there is no
  • establishment in Surrey. While there, he wrote to Wallace. Praising Wallaces 1855 article on
  • his own work on species was finished he might benefit from Wallaceslarge harvest of factsfrom
  • do species & varieties differ from each other’, he told Wallace in May 1857, before statingI
  • I do not suppose I shall go to press for two years. ’ Wallace was intrigued as to whether
  • was to be tried far more sorely in the following month. Wallace, who had continued to pursue his
  • On 18 June 1858, Darwin received a now lost letter from Wallace enclosing his essay titled on &#039
  • told Lyell, ‘ I never saw a more striking coincidence. if Wallace had my M.Ssketch written out in
  • to publish any sketch, can I do so honourably because Wallace has sent me an outline of his doctrine
  • accepted Lyell and Hookers suggestion that they submit Wallaces essay together with extracts from
  • …  than satisfied at what took place at Linn. Soc y ’. Wallace, however, did not hear about any of
  • been equally pleased. Writing to his mother in October 1858, Wallace statedI sent Mr. Darwin an
  • and a half chapters were edited and published in 1975 by R. C. Stauffer under the title Charles

Dramatisation script

Summary

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

Matches: 22 hits

  • 2Charles Darwin Actor 3In the dress of a modern day archivist, this actor uses the
  • the environment in which the play unfolds and acting as a go-between between Gray and Darwin, and
  • indicate an edit in the original text not, necessarily, a pause in the delivery of the line. A
  • Jane the final days of Professor Asa Gray, Harvard Botanist. A series of strokes affect adversely
  • dinner, though there had seemed some threatening of a cold, but he pronounced himselfGRAY
  • quick breathing and some listlessness, so that he was nursed a little on FridayThat evening
  • him on the success of the treatment. There seemed a weakness of the right hand, which, however, …
  • that they may be held theisticallyIndeed, I expect that a coming generation will give me the
  • bright and well, but on going down to breakfast there came a slight shock in the right arm, …
  • the address so that it could be read. Gray takes up a copy of his paper on Darwin. …
  • perambulations along theSand Walkat Down. He is a man of enormous enthusiasm and good humour, …
  • to Messrs Lyell and Hooker in 1844, being a part of [an unpublished] manuscript. …
  • his Christian belief and Darwin discovers that Alfred Wallace has developed his own strikingly
  • of the package (an essay from New Guinea from Alfred Russel Wallace) throws Darwin into a fluster. …
  • of last year… /  Why I ask this is as follows: Mr Wallace who is now exploring New Guinea, has
  • will be smashed. …  49   [Yet] there is nothing in Wallaces sketch which is not written out
  • that I can do so honourably50   knowing that Wallace is in the field….  / It seems hard on
  • Dr GrayI shall be glad of your opinion of Darwin and Wallaces paper. GRAY:   58   …
  • on all hands. DARWIN65   My dear [Mr Wallace], I have told [my publisher] Murray
  • paragraph, in which I quote and differ from you[r178   doctrine that each variation has been
  • TO JD HOOKER 12 OCTOBER 1849 6  C DARWIN TO R FITZROY, 1 OCTOBER 1846 7  …
  • TO A GRAY, 27 NOVEMBER 1859 65  C DARWIN TO A WALLACE, 13 NOVEMBER 1859 66  …

Inheritance

Summary

It was crucial to Darwin’s theories of species change that naturally occurring variations could be inherited.  But at the time when he wrote Origin, he had no explanation for how inheritance worked – it was just obvious that it did.  Darwin’s attempt to…

Matches: 8 hits

  • … may often be of service to science, when they involve a certain portion of incompleteness, and even …
  • … subject of inheritance is wonderful’ Darwin wrote,‘When a new character arises, whatever its nature …
  • … were orginally derived. They could also lie dormant 'for a thousand or ten-thousand generations …
  • … 1863] ).   Years before he published, Darwin sent a draft manuscript on Pangenesis to a …
  • … Somebody rummaging among your papers half a century hence will find Pangenesis & say “See this …
  • … his publishing them” . . . I am not going to be made a horrid example of in that way. ( T. H …
  • … says the view is quite different from his (& this a great relief to me, as I feared to be …
  • … place,—and that I think hardly possible. ( from A. R. Wallace, 24 February 1868 ) …

How old is the earth?

Summary

One of Darwin’s chief difficulties in making converts to his views, was convincing a sceptical public, and some equally sceptical physicists, that there had been enough time since the advent of life on earth for the slow process of natural selection to…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … difficulties in making converts to his views, was convincing a sceptical public, and some equally …
  • … saw around them. Darwin thought of himself as more of a geologist than a zoologist or …
  • … This was based on the assumed rate at which the Weald, a large area of southern England near his own …
  • … the top of which has been worn away. In the face of a critical review of Origin ( …
  • … He included ' Weald Denudation made milder ' in a list summarising changes to the second …
  • … stated that we cannot know at what rate the sea wears away a line of cliff: I assumed the one inch …
  • … estimate came under attack as collateral damage in a much wider dispute about the age of the earth …
  • … exclaimed to Hooker, ‘I will maintain to the death that y r  case of Fernando Po & Abyssinia …
  • … to Sir W. Thompson, for I require for my theoretical views a very long period before the Cambrian …
  • … fact that natural selection could only have produced such a wide variety of Cambrian life over a …
  • … in the meantime, had mentioned the problem to George Darwin, a newly elected fellow of Trinity …

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: 25 hits

  • On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11
  • of dimorphic plants with Williams help; he also ordered a selection of new climbing plants for his
  • physician-in-ordinary to Queen Victoria. Jenner prescribed a variety of antacids and purgatives, and
  • of the five physicians Darwin had consulted in 1863. In a letter of 26[–7] March [1864] , Darwin
  • continued throughout the summer. When he finished a preliminary draft of his paper on climbing
  • 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
  • arose over the grounds on which it was conferred, brought a dramatic conclusion to the year. Darwin
  • his observations indoors ( Correspondence  vol. 11). In a letter of [27 January 1864] , Darwin
  • However, the queries that Darwin, describing himself asa broken-down brother-naturalist’, sent to
  • for another specimen: ‘I want it fearfully for it is a leaf climber & therefore sacred’ ( …
  • transitional forms. Darwin came to think, for example, that a leaf, while still serving the
  • eventually aborting to form true tendrils. After observing a variety of climbing plants, he argued
  • we may conclude that  L. nissolia  is the result of a long series of changes . . .’ When he told
  • of the paper, he noted: ‘I have been pleased to find what a capital guide for observation, a full
  • dimorphic  Primula  and  Linum species, that when a short-styled plant with long stamens was
  • 5 September 1864 ). Fritz Müeller sent his bookFür Darwin , and Darwin had it translated by a
  • the slavery practised in North America. Alfred Russel Wallace Unlike in the preceding
  • with very little commentary. However, when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him a copy of his recently
  • Some other readers were also aware of the significance of Wallaces paper as the first published
  • to J. D. Hooker, 22 [May 1864] ). He added that he wished Wallace had written Lyells section on
  • the question of human origins ( Correspondence vol. 11). Wallace, however, traced a possible path
  • by natural selection in humans, was new to Darwin. Wallaces paper dealt not only with human
  • that Darwin, who later endorsed monogenism, supported Wallaces attempt to mediate in the
  • on intellectual &ampmoral  qualities’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 28 [May 1864] ). …

Darwin in letters, 1860: Answering critics

Summary

On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwin’s Origin of species, printing off another 3000 copies to satisfy the demands of an audience that surprised both the publisher and the author. It wasn't long, however, before ‘the…

Matches: 21 hits

  • critiques of his views. ‘One cannot expect fairness in a Reviewer’, Darwin commented to Hooker after
  • began to fly’. Hisdearly belovedtheory suffered a series of attacks, the most vicious of which
  • …  smashed’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). (A chronological list of all the reviews
  • list. Adam Sedgwick, not surprisingly, attacked the book on a number