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3.8 Leonard Darwin, interior photo


< Back to Introduction Leonard Darwin, who created the distinctive image of his father sitting on the verandah at Down House, also portrayed him as a melancholy philosopher. His head, brightly lit from above, emerges from the enveloping darkness; he…

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  • … &lt; Back to Introduction Leonard Darwin, who created the distinctive image of his father
  • is here an obvious relationship to Oulesss painting of Darwin, and to the photographs taken by
  • on a boys mind?’ This was written as late as 1929, when Leonard was himself nearly eighty, but it
  • descriptions of him. At the same time, photographs of Darwin taken by his family and friends have an
  • Magazine. Desmond and Moore, in their biography of Darwin, captioned itabout 1874’, while
  • would need to have been early in that year. A letter which Leonard wrote to his father from Brompton
  • … (unspecified, and now absent) might refer to the portrait of Darwin, although a pencilled note on
  • he took it in 1878.   It was this photograph which Leonard himself sent to Anthony Rich, a
  • and illustrator, created a bold wood-engraved image of Darwins head and shoulders from Leonards
  • this was for a wood engraving to illustrate an obituary of Darwin by Dr Otto Zacharias in the
  • portrait photographon china from the negative by Leonard Darwin’, lent to the 1909 exhibition by

List of correspondents


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,…

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  • … Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. …
  • … Octavian (3) Blomefield, Leonard (42) …
  • … Dareste, Camille (9) Darwin family (1) …
  • … Darwin, H. E. (60) Darwin, Horace (30) …
  • … Horner, K. M. (5) Horner, Leonard (13) …
  • … Jenyns, G. L. (1) Jenyns, Leonard (42) …
  • … Peacock, George (2) Pearce, Horace (1) …
  • … Ruck, M. A. (2) Rudd, Leonard (2) …

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots


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…

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  • 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
  • 1879 ). He was also unsatisfied with his account of Erasmus Darwin, declaring, ‘My little biography
  • a holiday in the Lake District in August did little to raise Darwins spirits. ‘I wish that my
  • W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [after 26] July [1879] ). From July, Darwin had an additional worry: the
  • that his grandfather had felt the same way. In 1792, Erasmus Darwin had written: ‘The worst thing I
  • contained a warmer note and the promise of future happiness: Darwin learned he was to be visited by
  • the veteran of Modern Zoology’, but it was in Germany that Darwin was most fêted. A German
  • … ). The masters of Greiz College in Thuringia venerated Darwin asthe deep thinker’, while
  • accepted in Germany. ‘On this festive day’, Haeckel told Darwin, ‘you can look back, with justified
  • Hermann Müller wrote on 12 February to wish Darwin along and serene evening of life’. This
  • 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
  • Darwin found the innvery comfortable’, but told Leonard Darwin on 12 August that there
  • objection to the engagement between his daughter Ida and Horace Darwin. This was all the more
  • at the Farrershome, Abinger Hall, on several occasions. Horace had first approached Farrer to
  • Farrers objection was based on his impression of Horaces poor health and lack of profession, and
  • reported, because Darwin told Farrera great deal about Horace that he did not know, especially
  • Farrer did not relent. While the Darwins were in Coniston, Horace was instructed to wait for three
  • the engagement between his daughter Ida and Darwins son Horace be kept secret and that there should

Dramatisation script


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

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  • Re: DesignAdaptation of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Asa Gray and othersby Craig
  • as the creator of this dramatisation, and that of the Darwin Correspondence Project to be identified
  • correspondence or published writings of Asa Gray, Charles Darwin, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Jane Loring
  • Actor 1Asa Gray Actor 2Charles Darwin Actor 3In the dress of a modern day
  • Agassiz, Adam Sedgwick, A Friend of John Stuart Mill, Emma Darwin, Horace Darwinand acts as a sort
  • the play unfolds and acting as a go-between between Gray and Darwin, and between the audience and
  • this, he sends out copies of his Review of the Life of Darwin. At this time in his life, Asa
  • friends in England, copies of hisReview of the Life of Darwin’… pencilling the address so that it
  • Joseph D Hooker GRAY:   3   Charles Darwinmade his home on the border of the little
  • are kept in check by a constitutional weakness. DARWIN: A plain but comfortable brick
  • by every blessing except that of vigorous healthDARWIN4   My confounded stomach
  • pursuits and the simplicity of his character. DARWIN:   5   I am allowed to work now
  • own house, where he was the most charming of hosts. DARWIN:   6   My life goes on
  • being a part of [an unpublished] manuscript. Darwin settles down to write. His tone is
  • THE CONCURRENCE OF BOTANISTS: 1855 In which Darwin initiates a long-running correspondence
  • gossip about difficult colleagues (Agassiz). Gray realizes Darwin is not revealing all of his
  • man, more formally attired and lighter on his feet than Darwin. He has many more demands on his time
  • catches his attention. He opens the letter. DARWIN8   April 25 th 1855. My
  • filled up the paper you sent me as well as I could. DARWIN10   My dear Dr Gray. I
  • …   My dear Gray. I must tell you that the other day [my boy Horace] overheard me talking about
  • DARWINI answeredOh yes.’ HORACEWell then, what did they say about the kinds of
  • answered that these were all due to mans agency. HORACEBut do not wild plants vary? …
  • whoformerlybelieved in such conclusions. I believe Horace is a prophetic type, as Agassiz would
  • In which Gray, while continuing to provide stamps for Leonard Darwins collection, fails to be

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year


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…

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  • 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
  • … ). The death of a Cambridge friend, Albert Way, caused Darwins 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 &amp; helpless The year started for Darwin with a weeks 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 Darwins cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood. Those
  • imposter’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 27 January 1874 ). Darwin agreed that it wasall imposture’ …
  • stop word getting to America of thestrange newsthat Darwin had alloweda spirit séanceat his
  • the first three months of the year and, like many of Darwins enterprises in the 1870s, were family
  • 21, letter to Smith, Elder &amp; Co., 17 December [1873] ). Darwin himself had some trouble in
  • and letter to Charles Lyell, [13 January 1874] ). Darwin blamed his illness for the
  • in sympathy: ‘If anybody tries that on with my boy Leonard the old wolf will shew all the fangs he
  • were also doing well. Despite ill health, his youngest son Horace began the year by taking the
  • without being bad &amp; have done pretty well’ ( letter to Horace Darwin, 9 January [1874] ). …
  • Kent. After a months trial Darwin wrote to the firm about Horaces illness: ‘My son is most
  • … [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 ( …
  • took twelve weeks aboard the immigrant ship  Merope . Leonard joined a colourful collection of
  • son Francis married Amy Ruck, the sister of a friend of Leonard Darwins in the Royal Engineers, on

Casting about: Darwin on worms


Earthworms were the subject of a citizen science project to map the distribution of earthworms across Britain (BBC Today programme, 26 May 2014). The general understanding of the role earthworms play in improving soils and providing nutrients for plants to…

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  • 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 Darwins fears that a book on earthworms might
  • out in his Natural History of Selborne of 1789 (a book Darwin claimed hadmuch 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
  • a metal whistle and to being shouted at, but also to Francis Darwin playing the bassoon, and to Emma
  • traces of earthworm activity at Stonehenge , and Horace was later charged with making sure that 18
  • whether worms possessed the power to lift a pavement. Leonard and George made calculations about
  • realising that this negative evidence was also valuable to Darwin. Thomas Henry Farrer , …
  • 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
  • bigger souls than anyone wd suppose’ ( letter to W. E. Darwin, 31 January [1881] (CUL DAR 210.6: …

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms


‘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…

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  • heart &amp; soul care for worms &amp; 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, ‘&amp; that about my
  • registry offices, and produced a twenty-page history of the Darwin family reaching back to the
  • the world’ ( letter from J. L. Chester, 3 March 1880 ). Darwins sons George and Leonard also
  • and conciliate a few whose ancestors had not featured in Darwins Life . ‘In an endeavour to
  • think I must pay a round of visits.’ One cousin, Reginald Darwin, warmed to George: ‘he had been
  • an ordinary mortal who could laugh’ ( letter from W. E. Darwin to Charles and Emma Darwin, 22 July
  • whose essay on Erasmuss scientific work complemented Darwins biographical piece. Krauses essay
  • Kosmos in February 1879, an issue produced in honour of Darwins birthday. Krause enlarged and
  • superficial and inaccurate piece of work’, although Darwin advised him not toexpend much powder
  • in the last sentence. When Butler read Erasmus Darwin , he noted the reference to his work, and
  • While on honeymoon with his new wife, Ida, in the Alps, Horace spotted worms at high elevations, …
  • saw a steam tramimagine my excitement’ ( letter from Horace Darwin to Emma Darwin, [18 September
  • elected fellow of the Royal Society. He rejoiced to see Horace and Ida settled in their new home in

Emma Darwin


Emma Darwin, Charles Darwin's wife and first cousin, was born Emma Wedgwood, the eighth and youngest child of Josiah Wedgwood II and Bessy Allen. Her father was the eldest son of the famous pottery manufacturer, Josiah Wedgwood I. Her mother was one…

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  • … Emma Darwin, Charles Darwin's wife and first cousin, was born Emma Wedgwood, the eighth and …
  • … father's eldest sister, Susannah, had married Robert Waring Darwin of Shrewsbury, and had six …
  • … (Mary, Henrietta Emma, George Howard, Elizabeth, Francis, Leonard, Horace, and Charles Waring). Two …
  • … she lived with her daughter Elizabeth. Francis, George, and Horace also lived in Cambridge. …
  • … home. A great deal of her correspondence survives in the Darwin Archive–CUL, along with her …

1.15 Albert Goodwin, watercolour


< Back to Introduction In 1880 the watercolourist Albert Goodwin was apparently invited to Down to produce that rare thing – a portrait of Darwin with members of his family. As Henrietta Litchfield, Darwin’s daughter, explained when she reproduced it…

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  • invited to Down to produce that rare thinga portrait of Darwin with members of his family. As
  • for a biography’, that, after she married and left Down, Darwin had adopted her dog Polly, and
  • on the garden side of Down House evidently became one of Darwins favourite places, as his decline
  • beds of flowers in bloom, the sunny sky and flocks of birds. Darwins children had particularly fond
  • these recollectionsThe work belonged to Horace Darwin, Darwins youngest surviving son, …
  • by Henrietta and her husband as a wedding present for Horace when he married in 1880. Two years
  • of life at Down that were purveyed to the public after Darwins death. Many photographs were taken
  • by Alfred Parsons also depicted these places, especially Darwins favourite haunts: now poignantly
  • 1882, to accompany an article by Alfred Russel Wallace on Darwins scientific achievements, and a
  • London News in 1887 for an article headedThe late Mr. Darwin’ (see separate catalogue entry). …
  • of incident, and grasp of topography evidently appealed to Darwin himself, as the family had already
  • in the drawing room at Down, and escaped the criticism which Darwin directed at much of the fine art
  • Alfred Russel Wallace , ‘The debt of science to Darwin’, Century Magazine , 25 (Nov. 1882 – …
  • 1909), p. 5, nos. 16 and 17. Henrietta Litchfield, Emma Darwin: A Century of Family Letters 1792
  • for a biography’, Cambridge University Library, Darwin archive, DAR 262.23: 1. Leonard Darwin, …

Darwin’s observations on his children


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…

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  • 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
  • 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. …
  • ought to do what a child says to a maid.[70] 46  Horace[712½. G. When shall you wean
  • But Papa you ought to forgive me if I do. 46v.  Horace seeing one of the huntsman not in a
  • P. Yes. Well I will then. Lenny trying to amuse Horace (crying  Baby I said Id got a bit of
  • … ”.[76] June 61854. Lenny after quarrelling with Horace, “I  feel  that I shall never play
  • … (ie liquorice) 49v.   July 25 th[77] /54/ Horace struck Lenny with a rake &amp; Lenny
  • … “I bets that is a rum thing”, the bet being offered to Horace Lenny. When ill with Fever &amp
  • if you wont, you must.”— 50bv. [80Horace 3 yrs old walking with Bessy in London saw a
  • you the nature of these sort of persons (meaning himself &amp; Horace who were making a horrid mess) …
  • written in pencil by CD and subsequently overwritten by Emma Darwin. The transcription throughout
  • 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
  • CUL). [71Horace Darwin, born 1851. [72Leonard Darwins nickname. [73Miss

Darwin in letters, 1869: Forward on all fronts


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…

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  • 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 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
  • are &amp; 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 , …
  • 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
  • would always exist. In  Origin  5th ed., pp. 45061, Darwin accounted for the survival of tropical
  • James Croll31 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 Thomsons
  • 19 March [1869] ). Towards Descent Once Darwin had completed revisions of the
  • and overseas. The dog-breeder George Cupples worked hard on Darwins behalf, sending a steady stream
  • sexes in sheep, cattle, horses, and dogs, and circulating Darwins queries to various contacts. As
  • causing difficulties. The entomologist Frederick Smith, whom Darwin had asked to study the musical
  • grandfather, Erasmus, to two of Darwins sons (George and Leonard), who had recently excelled in

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex


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…

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  • …   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
  • process. In a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace in 1864, Darwin claimed that sexual selection wasthe
  • 12, letter to A. R. Wallace, 28 [May 1864] ). Darwins theory of sexual selection as
  • 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
  • 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
  • blank’ ( letter from W. S. Dallas, 8 January 1868 ). Darwin sympathised, replying on 14 January
  • as stone, if it were not quite mollified by your note’. Darwin enclosed a cheque to Dallas for £55  …
  • and descent in the  Fortnightly Review , and asked Darwin for comments. Darwin was clearly
  • … ‘fast passing awaythat sparked the most discussion. Darwin wrote to Hooker on 23 February , …
  • authorship. John Murray thought it was by Gray himself, but Darwin corrected him: ‘D r  Gray would
  • of Science, Robertson published a rejoinder, arousing Darwins ire still further: ‘he is a scamp
  • all sorts of subjects In writing  Variation , Darwin had been careful to acknowledge
  • great influx of unsolicited letters from persons unknown to Darwin, offering additional facts that
  • 1868 . The letter was addressed tothe Rev d  C. Darwin M.d’; Binstead evidently assumed Darwin
  • in the world’ (from ?, 6 April 1868). On 21 May , Darwin complained to Hooker, ‘I am bothered
  • an outpouring of details and untoward examples even from Darwins inner circle of expert naturalists
  • by flexing. On 5 April , Edward Blyth, who had supplied Darwin with a wealth of information on
  • … ( letter from Alfred Newton, 29 January 1868 ). Leonard also excelled in highly competitive
  • at Leonards success’, Darwin wrote to his youngest son, Horace, on 26 July , ‘is it not splendid? …

Darwin's 1874 letters go online


The full transcripts and footnotes of over 600 letters to and from Charles Darwin in 1874 are published online for the first time. You can read about Darwin's life in 1874 through his letters and see a full list of the letters. The 1874 letters…

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  • and footnotes of over 600 letters to and from Charles Darwin in 1874 are published online for
  • the Catholic zoologist St George Jackson Mivart caused Darwin and his son George. In an
  • licentiousness’. After re-reading what George had written, Darwin wrote:   I cannot
  • of [a] lying scoundrel.—  ( Letter to GHDarwin, 1 August [1874] ) The
  • behaviour in scientific society. Find out more about how Darwin and his family and friends dealt
  • WDFox, 11 May [1874] ) At the age of 65, Darwin had reflective moments, although his
  • Letter to DFNevill, 18 September [1874] ) Darwins family continued to prosper. His
  • career, married Amy Ruck and came to live in Down village as Darwins secretary. I
  • Letter to JDHooker, 30 November [1874] ) Darwins continuing loyalty to his friends

3.3 Maull and Polyblank photo 2


< Back to Introduction Despite the difficulties that arose in relation to Maull and Polyblank’s first photograph of Darwin, another one was produced, this time showing him in three-quarter view. It was evidently not taken at the same session as the…

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  • in relation to Maull and Polyblanks first photograph of Darwin, another one was produced, this time
  • this second photograph is not precisely dated. An entry in Darwins account book for February 1858
  • be dated to a few years later. It may be the photograph that Darwin was promising to order and post
  • had given him such anatrociously wickedexpression. Darwin also wrote to Asa Gray in April 1861: …
  • commercially produced, not the one taken by his son William Darwin at that time, which he mentions
  • than Maull and Polyblank are known to have been employed by Darwin before the second half of the
  • It must have been available before April or May 1862, when Darwins brother Erasmus solicited some
  • hand, that ofJ