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Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth century. His journey back in time started when he decided to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an essay on Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas…

Matches: 19 hits

  • There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1879 on this website.  The full texts
  • 27 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin , published by Cambridge
  • to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an
  • the sensitivity of the tips. Despite this breakthrough, when Darwin first mentioned the book to his
  • that his grandfather had felt the same way. In 1792, Erasmus Darwin had written: ‘The worst thing I
  • all over like a baked pear’ ( enclosure in letter from R. W. Dixon, 20 December 1879 ). The year
  • to complete Horaces marriage settlement ( letter from W. M. Hacon, 31 December 1879 ). …
  • … & would please Francis’, he pointed out ( letter from E. A. Darwin, 13 March [1879 ]). …
  • Darwin, 28 May [1879] ). On the Galton side of the family, Elizabeth Anne Wheler, who was pleased
  • thoughtperfect in every way’ ( letter from E. A. Wheler, 25 March 1879 ). She suggested that
  • itvery dull,—almost too dull to publish’, while Leonard Darwin considered that insufficient
  • … ( letter to G. H. Darwin, 12 July 1879 , and letter from Leonard Darwin, [before 12 July] 1879
  • and he regretted going beyond histether’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 5 June 1879 , and
  • In August, Bernard accompanied his grandparents, Aunt Elizabeth (Bessy) Darwin, and Henrietta and
  • travellerneither cross nor ennuied’ (Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: 125
  • … & that it was suppressed gout. Also how well off he wd be, w. is a matter of some consequence
  • say that he has opposed it’ (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: …
  • get home ‘& began drumming at once’ (Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [27 August 1879] (DAR 219
  • it dominated the picture (letter from Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [17 July 1879] (DAR 219.9: …

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: 21 hits

  • 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working
  • dispute over an anonymous review that attacked the work of Darwins son George dominated the second
  • and traveller Alexander von Humboldts 105th birthday, Darwin obliged with a reflection on his debt
  • be done by observation during prolonged intervals’ ( letter to D. T. Gardner, [ c . 27 August
  • pleasures of shooting and collecting beetles ( letter from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such
  • Andone looks backwards much more than forwards’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 11 May [1874] ). …
  • 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
  • the month, another Williams séance was held at the home of Darwins cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood. Those
  • all the horrid bother of correction’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 21 [March 1874] ). The book
  • in sympathy: ‘If anybody tries that on with my boy Leonard the old wolf will shew all the fangs he
  • … [1874] ). At the end of June, Darwins fourth son, Leonard, who had joined the Royal
  • son of the Astronomer Royal, George Biddell Airy, to help Leonard gain the commission ( …
  • the subject & that must be enough for me’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 11 May [1874] ). …
  • the hardest cartilage, bone & meat &c. &c.’ ( letter to W. D. Fox,  11 May [1874] ). …
  • artificial gastric juice  for about a week ( letter from E. E. Klein, 14 May 1874 ). John Burdon
  • do when they are sitting at rest’ ( letter from S. W. Pennypacker, 14 September 1874 ). …
  • try to get it exhibited at a Royal Society of London soirée  (see letter from Anton Dohrn, 6 April
  • nephew, the fine-art specialist Henry Parker ( letter from E. A. Darwin, 17 [March 1874] ). He
  • letter John Murray, 9 May [1874] ). He communicated Mary Elizabeth Barbers paper on the pupae of

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: 22 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, …
  • to the stridulation of crickets. At the same time, Darwin continued to collect material on
  • his immediate circle of friends and relations. In July 1868 Darwin was still anticipating that his
  • which was devoted to sexual selection in the animal kingdom. Darwin described his thirst for
  • as well say, he would drink a little and not too much’ ( letter to Albert Günther, 15 May [1868] ) …
  • in January 1868. A final delay caused by the indexing gave Darwin much vexation. ‘My book is
  • 1867 and had expected to complete it in a fortnight. But at Darwins request, he modified his
  • the text. This increased the amount of work substantially. Darwin asked Murray to intervene, …
  • … … though it would be a great loss to the Book’. But Darwins angry letter to Murray crossed one from
  • to remuneration I shall look rather blank’ ( letter from W. S. Dallas, 8 January 1868 ). Darwin
  • well as ofvictorious males getting wives’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 25 February [1868] ). …
  • Edmund Langton wrote from the south of France to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood on 9 Novembe r, …
  • pigeon magenta. To Weir, he wrote on 27 February : ‘It w d  be a fine trial to cut off the eyes
  • and had himself watched elephants cry (letters to W. E. Darwin, [15 March 1868] and 8 April
  • screaming in patients undergoing vaccination ( letter from W. E. Darwin, [7 April 1868] ). Francis
  • veins, and the action of his platysma muscle ( letter from W. E. Darwin, [15 April 1868] ). The
  • Africa, Darwin received from Hooker an account by Mary Elizabeth Barber of local variations in the
  • of everlasting woe?’ I am not sure whether it w d  not be wisest for scientific men
  • … ( letter from Alfred Newton, 29 January 1868 ). Leonard also excelled in highly competitive

Darwin’s observations on his children

Summary

Charles Darwin’s observations on the development of his children, began the research that culminated in his book The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, published in 1872, and his article ‘A biographical sketch of an infant’, published in Mind…

Matches: 25 hits

  • Charles Darwins observations on the development of his children,[1began the
  • is available below . As with much of his other work, Darwin gathered additional information on the
  • lunatics, the blind, and animals. And as early as 1839 Darwin had begun to collect information on
  • the expression of emotions. As the following transcript of Darwins notes reveals, he closely
  • William Erasmus, the stages of his development suggesting to Darwin those expressions which are
  • The tone of the manuscript reflects an aspect of Darwins character clearly perceived by Emma during
  • … “What does that prove”.’[6For in these notes, Darwins deep scientific curiosity transcends his
  • that on occasion he refers to William asit’. Darwin possessed the ability to dissociate
  • memories.[8Yet, though the dissociation was essential for Darwins scientific goal, the notes here
  • until September 1844. Parallels in the development of Anne Elizabeth, born 2 March 1841, were also
  • the record breaks off until January 1852, by which time the Darwin family had increased by five: …
  • the onset of frowning, smiling, etc., as was the focus of Darwins attention on William and Anne, …
  • of logical thought and language. On 20 May 1854, Darwin again took over the notebook and, …
  • all the notes until July 1856, when the observations ceased. Darwins later entries, like Emmas, …
  • Transcription: 1 [9W. Erasmus. Darwin born. Dec. 27 th . 1839.—[10During first week. …
  • our door N o  12 and N o  11 is in the slit for the Letter box.— he decidedly ran past N o  11
  • has learned them from my sometimes changing the first letter in any word he is usingthus I say
  • 35  & to take a crust, when their pudding was finished.— Elizabeth[45remarked him careful
  • morning put on an unconspicuous bonnet of C. Langton,[52W. instantly observed it knew whose it was
  • leaves, stuck them in the ground to observe if the Bees, w d  look at them.[53Willy across whole
  • remonstrating with him on telling such a Burster (as he w d . call it), he answered, “Well then I
  • … , pp. 1312. [6Correspondence  vol. 2, letter from Emma Wedgwood, [23 January 1839] . …
  • books that she could recall encountering as a child (H. E. Litchfield papers, CUL). [60] …
  • and family memoirs and reminiscences. [61Leonard Darwin, born 1850. [62Francis
  • of her childhood, Henrietta Litchfield remembered Leonard Darwin saying this to their maid Jane and

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: 26 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
  • … & I am sick of correcting’ ( Correspondence  vol. 16, letter to W. D. Fox, 12 December [1868
  • Well it is a beginning, & that is something’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [22 January 1869] ). …
  • material on emotional expression. Yet the scope of Darwins 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 Darwins most substantial addition to  Origin  was a
  • a Swiss botanist and professor at Munich (Nägeli 1865). Darwin had considered Nägelis paper
  • principal engine of change in the development of species. Darwin correctly assessed Nägelis theory
  • in most morphological features (Nägeli 1865, p. 29). Darwin sent a manuscript of his response (now
  • made any blunders, as is very likely to be the case’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 January 1869 ). …
  • are & must be morphological’. The comment highlights Darwins apparent confusion about Nägelis
  • … ‘purely morphological’. The modern reader may well share Darwins uncertainty, but Nägeli evidently
  • pp. 289). 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. 1034). 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 , …
  • than I now see is possible or probable’ (see also letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 January [1869] , …
  • 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 Darwins interest the most. He wrote, ‘this
  • … ( letter to James Croll, 31 January [1869] ). Darwin had argued ( Origin , pp. 3778) that plant
  • troubled at the short duration of the world according to Sir W. Thompson, for I require for my
  • ability to recognise the different varieties ( letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 25 February [1869] ). …
  • … ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 7 May 1869 , letter from W. B. Dawkins, 17 July 1869 ). He
  • grandfather, Erasmus, to two of Darwins sons (George and Leonard), who had recently excelled in

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: 14 hits

  • and colonial authorities. In the nineteenth-century, letter writing was one of the most important
  • 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
  • section contains two sets of letters. The first is between Darwin and his friend Kew botanist J. D. …
  • and he is curious about Hookers thoughts. Letter 729Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., …
  • to Hookerit is like confessing a murder”. Letter 736Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D. …
  • of wide-ranging species to wide-ranging genera. Darwin and Gray Letter 1674
  • of the species. Letter 1685Gray, Asa to Darwin, C. R., 22 May 1855 Gray
  • of alpine flora in the USA. Letter 2125Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 20 July [1857] …
  • have in simple truth been of the utmost value to me.” Darwin believes species have arisen, like
  • forms of address and acknowledgement. Darwin and W. B. Tegetmeier Letter 1751 — …
  • … . Letter 4260aDarwin, C. R. to Becker, L. E., 2 Aug [1863] Darwin thanks Lydia
  • offered the Beagle naturalist appointment first to Leonard Jenyns, who almost accepted, as did
  • In this letter, naturalist, artist, and writer Mary Elizabeth Barber replies to Queries on

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms

Summary

‘My heart & soul care for worms & nothing else in this world,’ Darwin wrote to his old Shrewsbury friend Henry Johnson on 14 November 1880. Darwin became fully devoted to earthworms in the spring of the year, just after finishing the manuscript of…

Matches: 21 hits

  • heart & soul care for worms & nothing else in this world,’ Darwin wrote to his old
  • to adapt to varying conditions. The implications of Darwins work for the boundary between animals
  • studies of animal instincts by George John Romanes drew upon Darwins early observations of infants, …
  • of evolution and creation. Many letters flowed between Darwin and his children, as he took delight
  • Financial support for science was a recurring issue, as Darwin tried to secure a Civil List pension
  • with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. …
  • Charles Harrison Tindal, sent a cache of letters from two of Darwins grandfathers clerical friends
  • divines to see a pigs body opened is very amusing’, Darwin replied, ‘& that about my
  • registry offices, and produced a twenty-page history of the Darwin family reaching back to the
  • have influenced the whole Kingdom, & even the world’ ( letter from J. L. Chester, 3 March 1880
  • delighted to find an ordinary mortal who could laugh’ ( letter from W. E. Darwin to Charles and
  • wants a grievance to hang an article upon’ ( letter from W. E. Darwin, [28 January 1880] ). …
  • one or both to his daughter Henrietta ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 1 February [1880] ). ‘The
  • he will have the last word’, she warned ( letter from H. E. Litchfield, [1 February 1880] ). ‘He
  • pretended, ‘but the subject has amused me’ ( letter to W. C. McIntosh, 18 June 1880 ). Members of
  • the reasons, I should be greatly obliged’ ( letter from W. Z. Seddon, 2 February 1880) . Darwin
  • he added, ‘hardly anybody has accepted’ ( letter to W. Z. Seddon, 4 February 1880 ). On 16
  • aided in any way direct attacks on religion’ ( letter to E. B. Aveling, 13 October 1880 ). Finally
  • to the greatest biologist of our time’ ( letter from W. D. Roebuck to G. H. Darwin, 25 October 1880
  • his great doctrines …“Come of Age”‘ ( letter from W. C. Williamson to Emma Darwin, 2 September 1880
  • for the Wedgwood nieces. Later in the year, Emmas sister Elizabeth Wedgwood died at her home, …

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

Summary

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…

Matches: 26 hits

  • The seven-year period following Darwin's return to England from the Beagle  voyage was one
  • a family Busy as he was with scientific activities, Darwin found time to re-establish family
  • close contact. In November 1838, two years after his return, Darwin became engaged to his cousin, …
  • 1842, the family, now increased by a daughter, Anne Elizabeth, moved to Down House in Kent, where
  • his greatest theoretical achievement, the most important of Darwins activities during the years
  • identifications of his bird and fossil mammal specimens, Darwin arrived at the daring and momentous
  • in species. With this new theoretical point of departure Darwin continued to make notes and explore
  • present in the version of 1859. Young author Darwins investigation of the species
  • the  Beagle  had returned to England, news of some of Darwins findings had been spread by the
  • great excitement. The fuller account of the voyage and Darwins discoveries was therefore eagerly
  • suitable categories for individual experts to work upon, Darwin applied himself to the revision of
  • of the surveying voyage of H.M.S. Adventure and Beagle. Darwins volume bore the title  Journal
  • visited by H.M.S. BeagleAlso in November 1837, Darwin read the fourth of a series of papers to
  • to the Society of 9 March 1838), had been developed by Darwin from a suggestion made by his uncle, …
  • G. R. WaterhouseBirds , by John GouldFish , by Leonard Jenyns; and  Reptiles , by Thomas
  • variety of publications. The beetles were described by F. W. Hope, G. R. Waterhouse, and C. C. …
  • distribution and classification (see Henslow 1837a and 1838; W. J. Hooker and G. A. W. Arnott 1836, …
  • letters have suffered an even more severe loss. In a letter to Lyells sister-in-law, Katharine
  • of fact . . . on the origin & variation of species” ( Letter to J. S. Henslow, [November 1839] …
  • convince anyone that he had a sound solution to what J. F. W. Herschel in a letter to Lyell had
  • about searching for evidence to support his hypothesis. In a letter to Lyell, [14] September [1838
  • clearly  under sub-laws.' To his cousin, W. D. Fox, [25 January 1841] , he wrote: & …
  • in this field and on friends like Henslow, T. C. Eyton, and W. D. Fox, who were knowledgeable about
  • between species and varieties had no basis in reality (W. Herbert 1837, p. 341); species were only
  • to Caroline Darwin, 13 October 1834 , and letter from R. E. Alison, 25 June 1835 ). Henry
  • so-calledscience of morphology’, first set forth by J. W. von Goethe. Though widely accepted in

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: 26 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
  • a few instances, primarily in theBooks Readsections, Darwin recorded that a work had been
  • of the books listed in the other two notebooks. Sometimes Darwin recorded that an abstract of the
  • own. Soon after beginning his first reading notebook, Darwin began to separate the scientific
  • the second reading notebook. Readers primarily interested in Darwins scientific reading, therefore, …
  • editorsidentification of the book or article to which Darwin refers. A full list of these works is
  • page number (or numbers, as the case may be) on which Darwins entry is to be found. The
  • the University of Cambridge. These works, catalogued by H. W. Rutherford ( Catalogue of the library
  • Prichard; a 3 d . vol [Prichard 183647] Lawrence [W. Lawrence 1819] read Bory S t
  • 1822] Falconers remark on the influence of climate [W. Falconer 1781] [DAR *119: 2v. …
  • 1819]. see p. 17 Note Book C. for reference to authors about E. Indian Islands 8 consult D r
  • … [Dampier 1697] Sportsmans repository 4 to . [W. H. Scott 1820]— contains much on dogs
  • of variation in animals in the different isl ds  of E Indian Archipelago— [DAR *119: 6v.] …
  • … [DAR *119: 8v.] A history of British Birds by W. Macgillivray [W. Macgillivray 183752].— I
  • … [Reimarius 1760] The Highlands & Western Isl ds  letter to Sir W Scott [MacCulloch 1824
  • 2 vols. 8vo. avec 2 atlas 4to. ibid, 181823. £1 2 s  [E. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 181823] …
  • said to be Poor Sir. J. Edwards Botanical Tour [?J. E. Smith 1793] Fabricius (very old
  • at Maer.— Lives of Kepler & Galileo. Drinkwater [J. E. Drinkwater] 1833]— Prof. …
  • 183440]: In Portfolio ofabstracts34  —letter from Skuckard of books on Silk Worm
  • th . Humes Hist of England [Hume 1763]. to beginning of Elizabeth. Sept 14 th . 4 first
  • on chemistry (Liebig 1851). 50  Probably Elizabeth Wedgwood. 51  This
  • of the   Devereux, Earls of Essex, in the reigns of Elizabeth, James I.,   and Charles I., 1540
  • eds.] [Abstract in DAR 91: 13.]  119: 9b Horner, Leonard, ed. 1843Memoirs and

Darwin in letters, 1861: Gaining allies

Summary

The year 1861 marked an important change in the direction of Darwin’s work. He had weathered the storm that followed the publication of Origin, and felt cautiously optimistic about the ultimate acceptance of his ideas. The letters from this year provide an…

Matches: 24 hits

  • The year 1861 marked an important change in the direction of Darwins work. By then, he had
  • propagation, hybridism, and other phenomena that, as Darwin said in his  Autobiography , he had
  • provide an unusually detailed and intimate understanding of Darwins problem-solving method of work
  • 1860 that a new edition of  Origin  was called for, Darwin took the opportunity to include in the
  • of natural selection. With this work behind him, Darwin took steps to convince those who
  • will do me & Natural Selection, right good service’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 267 Februrary [1861] …
  • pamphlet (see Correspondence vol. 9, Appendix III). However, Darwin himself remained unconvinced by
  • …  began to decline later in the year, scientific interest in Darwins views continued unabated and
  • the third edition and the comments of naturalists with whom Darwin corresponded, showed that a
  • the theory of natural selection for their particular fields. Darwin relished these explorations, …
  • the  Zoologist  by George Maw, for example, singled out Darwins explanation of the numerous
  • remained notable instances of design in nature. Although Darwin, in his subsequent correspondence
  • … ‘barometerof scientific opinion, Charles Lyell ( see letter to Charles Lyell, 20 July [1861] ). …
  • selection could not bedirectly proved’ ( see second letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 [April 1861] ). …
  • wasthe only one proper to such a subject’ ( letter from Henry Fawcett, 16 July [1861] ). Mill in
  • Nature manufactures her new species’ ( letter from H. W. Bates, 28 March [1861] ). Mimicry
  • from which the other set is free’ ( letter from H. W. Bates, 30 September 1861 ). As Peter Bowler
  • valuable contribution to Nat. History.—’ ( letter to H. W. Bates, 4 April [1861] ). He also
  • andMonkeys,—our poor cousins.—’ ( letter to H. W. Bates, 3 December [1861] ). Darwin volunteered
  • … ‘large distributionfor the work ( letter to H. W. Bates, 25 September [1861] ). Nevertheless, …
  • and relationship when he was asked to contribute to Leonard Jenynss  Memoir of the Rev. John
  • would sobe at once an almost rich man