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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
  • of thinking about the significance of John Goulds and Richard Owens identifications of his bird
  • be as they are (Kohn 1980). Between April 1837 and September 1838 he filled several notebooks with
  • it (in his referees report to the Society of 9 March 1838), had been developed by Darwin from a
  • 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
  • Zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle  from February 1838 to October 1843. The correspondence
  • … . The work comprises five partsFossil Mammalia , by Richard OwenMammalia , by G. R. …
  • plant distribution and classification (see Henslow 1837a and 1838; W. J. Hooker and G. A. W. Arnott
  • 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
  • letters have suffered an even more severe loss. In a letter to Lyells sister-in-law, Katharine
  • material for her  Life, letters and journals of Sir Charles Lyell, Bart.,  Darwin informs her that
  • of fact . . . on the origin & variation of species” ( Letter to J. S. Henslow, [November 1839] …
  • that he had a sound solution to what J. F. W. Herschel in a letter to Lyell had called themystery
  • about searching for evidence to support his hypothesis. In a letter to Lyell, [14] September [1838
  • generation, fecundity, and inheritance. After mid-September 1838, when he had histheory to work by
  • of Comtes  Philosophie positive ([Brewster] 1838; see also Manier 1978, pp. 405) which
  • just the same, though I know what I am looking for' ( Letter to G. R. Waterhouse, [26 July
  • there were no doubts as to how one ought to act’ ( Letter from Emma Darwin, [  c.  February 1839] …
  • In 1840 the illness was different. As he wrote to Charles Lyell, [19 February 1840] , “it is now
  • for several months (See  Correspondence  vol. 1, letter to Caroline Darwin, 13 October 1834 , …
  • notebook). See also Allan 1977, pp. 12830). The letter, onDouble flowersto the  …