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Darwin in letters, 1837–1843: The London years to 'natural selection'


The seven-year period following Darwin's return to England from the Beagle voyage was one of extraordinary activity and productivity in which he became recognised as a naturalist of outstanding ability, as an author and editor, and as a professional…

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  • whom his work brought him into close contact. In November 1838, two years after his return, Darwin
  • in London and at the end of the year their first child, William Erasmus, was born. In September 1842
  • be as they are (Kohn 1980). Between April 1837 and September 1838 he filled several notebooks with
  • This explanation of anew Geological Power”, as William Buckland called it (in his referees report
  • by all the leading geologists of Englandamong them Charles Lyell, Sedgwick, and Buckland (see the
  • of his  Beagle  work, and it too was in geology. In 1838 he set out on a geological tour in
  • of South America”, Darwin continued to defend his and Lyells theory that floating icerather than
  • of the  Beagle  voyage. With the help of J. S. Henslow, William Whewell, and other prominent
  • Zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle  from February 1838 to October 1843. The correspondence
  • by C. G. Ehrenberg; fungi by M. J. Berkeley; and corals by William Lonsdale ( Collected papers , 2
  • Towards the end of 1843, he increasingly hoped that William Jackson Hooker or his son Joseph might
  • lists of Darwins plants (see D. M. Porter 1981). Charles Lyell In the extensive
  • correspondent, both scientifically and personally, was Charles Lyell. The letters Darwin and Lyell
  • had declared himself to be azealous discipleof Lyell, but his theory of coral reef formation, …
  • Their correspondence began in 1836 and from the start Lyell accepted Darwin on equal terms as a
  • versions in Life and Letters , and from excerpts that Lyell made in his notebooks. Lyells
  • material for her  Life, letters and journals of Sir Charles Lyell, Bart.,  Darwin informs her that
  • Henslow, Jenyns, Waterhouse, and his second cousin, William Darwin Foxknew, as he said to Henslow, …
  • selection preserved from this period are the exchanges with William Herbert, Dean of Manchester, a
  • In 1840 the illness was different. As he wrote to Charles Lyell, [19 February 1840] , “it is now
  • the correspondence about the vitality of seeds discovered by William Kemp of Galashiels in a

Darwin’s reading notebooks


In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to read in Notebook C (Notebooks, pp. 319–28). In 1839, these lists were copied and continued in separate notebooks. The first of these reading notebooks (DAR 119…

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  • In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he
  • arranged alphabetically, of the scientific books read from 1838 through 1846, but it was not kept up
  • by H. W. Rutherford ( Catalogue of the library of Charles Darwin now in the Botany School, …
  • Inside Front Cover] C. Darwin June 1 st . 1838 Stokes Library 1
  • read L. Jenyns paper on Annals of Nat. Hist. [Jenyns 1838] Prichard; a 3 d . vol
  • Cavernes dOssements 7 th  Ed. 10  8 vo . [Serres 1838] good to trace Europ. forms compared
  • 1827] Paxton on the culture of Dahlias [Paxton 1838] read Paper on consciousness in
  • Louisiana [darby 1816] & Finch Travels [Finch 1833]. (Lyell) Maximilian in Brazil [Wied
  • of Mexico [W. H. Prescott 1843], strongly recommended by Lyell (read) Berkeleys Works
  • June /41/ [Herschel 1841] I see I  must   study  Whewell on Philosophy of Science [Whewell 1840] …
  • 1844] L d  Cloncurry Memm [Lawless 1849] Lady Lyell Sir J Heads Forest scenes in
  • round world 18036 [Lisyansky 1814]— nothing Lyells Elements of Geology [Lyell 1838] …
  • J 57  Brownes Religio Medici [T. Browne 1643] Lyells Book III 5th Edit 58  [Lyell 1837] …
  • 119: 4a] Lessings Laocoon [Lessing 1836] Whewell inductive History [Whewell 1837] …
  • 1807] 24 th   Well  Skimmed (for second time) Whewells Bridgewater Treatise [Whewell
  • 1841]. 2 d . vols. —— 30 th . Smollets William & Mary. & Anne [Smollett 1805].— …
  • … [DAR *128: 149] Murray Geograph. Distrib. Price William & Norgate 2126 [A. Murray
  • …  Hinds Solar System [Hind 1852] April 20 th  William Humboldts letters [K. W. von Humboldt
  • 1859]. (goodish) 1  The personal library of Charles Stokes from whom CD borrowed books
  • 7  Probably a reference to the private library of William Jackson Hooker and his son, Joseph
  • In February 1882, however, after reading the introduction to William Ogles translation of Aristotle
  • Notebooks ). 19  According to the  DNB , William Herbert provided notes for both
  • Erskine. 2 vols. London.  *119: 14 Babington, Charles Cardale. 1839Primitiæ floræ   …
  • of Useful Knowledge.) London.  *119: 13 Badham, Charles David. 1845Insect life . …
  • … [Abstract in DAR 205.3: 180.] 119: 21a Bell, Charles. 1806Essays on the anatomy of
  • of the London Clay . London.  *119: 12v. Brace, Charles Loring. 1852Hungary in 1851: …

Journal of researches


Within two months of the Beagle’s arrival back in England in October 1836, Darwin, although busy with distributing his specimens among specialists for description, and more interested in working on his geological research, turned his mind to the task of…

Matches: 11 hits

  • also a thorough restructuring, as he explained to his cousin William Darwin Fox in March 1837: ‘ I
  • Chapter’, Darwin wrote to his sister Caroline, adding that Charles Lyellsays it beats all the
  • or simply get lost as part of three-volume set. In September 1838, Charles Lyell reported that his
  • because Darwin had circulated the page proofs from early 1838, not least to William Whewell, …
  • of his work, and especially appreciated the positive view of Charles Lyell Sr, claiming thatto
  • Journal and remarks he had received from the publisher. William Buckland praised itshigh
  • … ‘ as full of good original wholesome food as an egg ’; William Henry Fitton considered the geology
  • … & generous feeling that is visible in every part ’; and William Lonsdale also admired the ‘ …
  • from Colburn, Darwin had few scruples when, in 1845, at Lyells suggestion, he asked whether the
  • German edition produced in 1844, needed to be returned. ‘ Lyell recommended me to write to the
  • however, not least because it would have been anathema to Charles Lyell, to whom Darwin dedicated