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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: 17 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
  • wrinkles one all over like a baked pear’ ( enclosure in letter from R. W. Dixon, 20 December 1879
  • itself, or gone some other way round?’ At least the last letter of 1879 contained a warmer note and
  • nice and good as could be’ ( letter from Karl Beger, [ c. 12 February 1879] ). The masters of
  • of the Admiralty described the unknown young man asA M r Darwin grandson of the well known
  • him on 9 June not toexpend much powder & shot on M r  Butler’, for he really was not worth
  • 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
  • leaving Darwinmore perplexed than ever about life of D r . D’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 12
  • the highest point, for hiswhy”—“what for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first
  • Darwin found the innvery comfortable’, but told Leonard Darwin on 12 August that there
  • which is his profession thonot a profitable one; also D r  C[lark]’s opinion that he was so
  • and preventCattle diseases, Potato diseases &c’, probably did not know that Darwin had already

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
  • was an illusory hope.— I feel very old & helpless’  ( letter to B. J. Sulivan, 6 January [1874] …
  • inferred that he was well from his silence on the matter ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October
  • by George Henry Lewes and Marian Evans (George Eliot), but Darwin excused himself, finding it too
  • Descent  was published in November 1874 ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874 ). Though
  • on subsequent print runs would be very good ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874 ). …
  • 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 ( …
  • 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
  • in a few hours dissolve the hardest cartilage, bone & meat &c. &c.’ ( letter to W. D. …
  • whether at theclose of the putrefaction of flesh, skin &c, any substance is produced before
  • details of an Australian variety of sundew ( letter from T. C. Copland, 23 June 1874 ). …
  • Sharpe for promotion at the British Museum ( letter to R. B. Sharpe, 24 November [1874] ).  He

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: 24 hits

  • 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
  • his University) and is much less his own man. A letter from England catches his attention
  • 11   My dear HookerWhat a remarkably nice and kind letter Dr A. Gray has sent me in answer to my
  • be of any the least use to you? If so I would copy itHis letter does strike me as most uncommonly
  • on the geographical distribution of the US plants; and if my letter caused you to do this some year
  • a brace of letters 25   I send enclosed [a letter for you from Asa Gray], received
  • might like to see it; please be sure [to] return it. If your letter is Botanical and has nothing
  • Atlantic. HOOKER:   28   Thanks for your letter and its enclosure from A. Gray which
  • In which Gray, while continuing to provide stamps for Leonard Darwins collection, fails to be
  • paragraph, in which I quote and differ from you[r178   doctrine that each variation has been
  • ARTS AND SCIENCES, PROCEEDINGS XVII, 1882 4  C DARWIN TO JD HOOKER 10 MAY 1848

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: 10 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. …
  • wide-ranging genera. Darwin and Gray Letter 1674Darwin, C. R. to Gray, …
  • species. Letter 1685Gray, Asa to Darwin, C. R., 22 May 1855 Gray recalled
  • flora in the USA. Letter 2125Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 20 July [1857] Darwin
  • offered the Beagle naturalist appointment first to Leonard Jenyns, who almost accepted, as did

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
  • Darwins Life . ‘In an endeavour to explain away y r . treatment of [William Alvey Darwin],’ …
  • delighted to find an ordinary mortal who could laugh’ ( letter from W. E. Darwin to Charles and
  • much powder & shot’ ( Correspondence vol. 27, letter from Ernst Krause, 7 June 1879 , and
  • by anticipation the position I have taken as regards D r Erasmus Darwin in my book Evolution old
  • modified; but now I much regret that I did not do so’ ( letter to Samuel Butler, 3 January 1880 ). …
  • to the end’, added her husband Richard ( letter from R. B. Litchfield, 1 February 1880 ). Even the
  • shake their heads in the same dismal manner as you & M r . Murray did, when I told them my
  • in a book about beetles the impressive wordscaptured by C. Darwin”. … This seemed to me glory
  • … ‘but the subject has amused me’ ( letter to W. C. McIntosh, 18 June 1880 ). Members of the family
  • great doctrines …“Come of Age”‘ ( letter from W. C. Williamson to Emma Darwin, 2 September 1880 ). …
  • his voice as clearly as if he were present’ (letters to C. W. Fox, 29 March 1880 and 10 [April

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
  • than I now see is possible or probable’ (see also letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 January [1869] , …
  • is strengthened by the facts in distribution’ ( letter to James Croll, 31 January [1869] ). Darwin
  • of information which I have sent prove of any service to M r . Darwin I can supply him with much
  • … & 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 ). …
  • species that Darwin had investigated in depth ( letter from C. F. Claus, 6 February 1869 ). In a
  • genus that he had studied in the early 1860s ( letter to W. C. Tait, 12 and 16 March 1869 ). This
  • Sweetland Dallass edition of Fritz Müllers  Für Darwin  (Dallas trans. 1869). The book, an
  • whole meeting was decidedly Huxleys answer to D r  M c Cann. He literally poured boiling oil
  • grandfather, Erasmus, to two of Darwins sons (George and Leonard), who had recently excelled in

Darwin in letters, 1882: Nothing too great or too small

Summary

In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the previous October, and for the first time in decades he was not working on another book. He remained active in botanical research, however. Building on his recent studies in plant…

Matches: 22 hits

  • In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the previous
  • for scientific colleagues or their widows facing hardship. Darwin had suffered from poor health
  • … ‘I feel a very old man, & my course is nearly run’ ( letter to Lawson Tait, 13 February 1882 ) …
  • of his scientific friends quickly organised a campaign for Darwin to have greater public recognition
  • Botanical observation and experiment had long been Darwins greatest scientific pleasure. The year
  • fertility of crosses between differently styled plants ( letter from Fritz Müller, 1 January 1882
  • working at the effects of Carbonate of Ammonia on roots,’ Darwin wrote, ‘the chief result being that
  • contents, if immersed for some hours in a weak solution of C. of Ammonia’. Darwins interest in root
  • London on 6 and 16 March, respectively. In January, Darwin corresponded with George John
  • François Marie Glaziou (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter from Arthur de Souza Corrêa, 20
  • experiments had been conducted to lend support to Darwins theory of pangenesis (see
  • He was eager to write up the results on Brazilian cane, with Darwin providing a detailed outline: ‘I
  • at the Linnean Society on 4 May, but not published. Darwin carried on with botanical work in
  • our homes, would in this case greatly suffer’ ( letter to C. A. Kennard, 9 January 1882 ). Kennard
  • judged, intellectually his inferior, please ( letter from C. A. Kennard, 28 January 1882 ). …
  • Anthony Rich, he shared several of his sonsachievements. Leonard had been appointed to observe the
  • dull aching in the chest’ (Emma Darwin to G. H. Darwin, [ c . 28 March 1882] (DAR 210.3: 45)). …
  • is always easier to write than to speak,’ she wrote to Leonard, ‘& so though I shall see you so
  • … & have been able to be to him’ (letter from Emma Darwin to Leonard Darwin, [21? April 1882] (DAR
  • to some Estancia,’ wrote Hughes, ‘as the scenery &c. will amply repay your trouble’ ( letter
  • where he had witnessed an earthquake in 1835 ( letter from R. E. Alison, [MarchJuly 1835 ]). …
  • will be months before I am able to work’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, [ c . 10 April 1864] ). To

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: 22 hits

  • The year 1876 started out sedately enough with Darwin working on the first draft of his book on the
  • games. ‘I have won, hurrah, hurrah, 2795 games’, Darwin boasted; ‘my wifepoor creature, has won
  • regarding the ailments that were so much a feature of Darwin family life. But the calm was not to
  • four days later. ‘I cannot bear to think of the future’, Darwin confessed to William on 11
  • once, the labour of checking proofs proved a blessing, as Darwin sought solace for the loss of his
  • and his baby son Bernard now part of the household, and Darwin recasting his work on dimorphic and
  • quantity of workleft in him fornew matter’ (letter to Asa Gray, 28 January 1876). The
  • had involved much time and effort the previous year, and Darwin clearly wanted to focus his
  • to a reprint of the second edition of Climbing plants ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 23 February
  • single-volume edition titled Geological observations , Darwin resisted making any revisions at
  • … & I for blundering’, he cheerfully observed to Carus. ( Letter to J. V. Carus, 24 April 1876. …
  • provided evidence for theadvantages of crossing’ (letter to Asa Gray, 28 January 1876). Revising
  • year to write about his life ( Correspondence vol. 23, letter from Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg, 20
  • effected by his forthcoming pamphlet, Darwin confounded (C. OShaughnessy 1876), which, he
  • nowadays is evolution and it is the correct one’ ( letter from Nemo, [1876?] ). …
  • and who had succeeded in giving him pain ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 17 June 1876 ). Although
  • years experiments’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [ c . 19 March 1876] ). A less welcome reaction
  • because of along and terrible illness’ ( letter to C. S. Wedgwood, 20 April 1876 ). By the time
  • Just four days later, Darwin had the hard task of telling Leonard that Amy, after seeming to recover
  • not by hiding the pain of the situation, but by reminding Leonard of how much his friendship had
  • … & a Prof. Romer came to lunch’, Emma Darwin reported to Leonard Darwin on 29 September (DAR 239
  • in harmony with yours’ ( letter from George Henslow, [ c. 7 December 1876] ). A more typical

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

Summary

The year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend and supporter; Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and father of Darwin’s friend…

Matches: 20 hits

  • In 1865, the chief work on Charles Darwins mind was the writing of  The variation of animals and
  • letters on climbing plants to make another paper. Darwin also submitted a manuscript of his
  • protégé, John Scott, who was now working in India. Darwins transmutation theory continued to
  • Argyll, appeared in the religious weeklyGood Words . Darwin received news of an exchange of
  • Butler, and, according to Butler, the bishop of Wellington. Darwins theory was discussed at an
  • in the  GardenersChronicleAt the end of the year, Darwin was elected an honorary member of
  • year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend of
  • in August. There was also a serious dispute between two of Darwins friends, John Lubbock and
  • had failed to include among the grounds of the award ( see letter from Hugh Falconer to Erasmus
  • his letters to Darwin, and Darwin responded warmly: ‘Your letter is by far the grandest eulogium
  • may well rest content that I have not laboured in vain’ ( letter to Hugh Falconer, 6 January [1865] …
  • always a most kind friend to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] …
  • for our griefs & pains: these alone are unalloyed’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1865
  • gas.— Sic transit gloria mundi, with a vengeance’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1865] ). …
  • Darwin had received a copy of Müllers bookFür Darwin , a study of the Crustacea with reference
  • … … inheritance, reversion, effects of use & disuse &c’, and which he intended to publish in
  • He wrote to Hooker, ‘I doubt whether you or I or any one c d  do any good in healing this breach. …
  • Hookers behalf, ‘He asks if you saw the article of M r . Croll in the last Reader on the
  • letter from Edward Cresy, 10 September 1865 ). Francis and Leonard were still at school in Clapham, …
  • … ‘As for your thinking that you do not deserve the C[opley] Medal,’ he rebuked Hooker, ‘that I

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…

Matches: 24 hits

  • … ‘My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, ‘is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can
  • of   On the origin of   species , intended to be Darwins last, and of  Expression of the
  • books brought a strong if deceptive sense of a job now done: Darwin intended, he declared to Alfred
  • anything more on 'so difficult a subject, as evolution’ ( letter to ARWallace,  27 July
  • of books and papers, and the latter formed the subject of Darwins last bookThe formation of   …
  • worms , published in the year before his deathDespite Darwins declared intention to take up new
  • begun many years before. In his private life also, Darwin was in a nostalgic frame of mind, …
  • The last word on Origin The year opened with Darwin, helped by his eldest son William, …
  • on 30 January , shortly after correcting the proofs, and Darwins concern for the consolidation of
  • and sixth editions were costly to incorporate, and despite Darwins best efforts, set the final
  • condition as I can make it’, he wrote to the translator ( letter to JJMoulinié, 23 September
  • translation remained unpublished at the end of the year ( letter from C.-FReinwald, 23 November
  • to bring out the new edition in the United States, Darwin arranged with Murray to have it
  • to the comparative anatomist St George Jackson Mivart ( letter to St GJMivart,  11 January
  • Whale  & duck  most beautiful’ ( letter from ARWallace, 3 March 1872 ). I
  • … `chiefly perhaps because I do it badly’ ( letter to ARWallace, 3 August [1872] ).  …
  • from his ignorance, he feels no doubts’ ( letter to FCDonders, 17 June 1872 ). Right up to the
  • Charlton Bastians recent book on the origin of life (HCBastian 1872; Wallace 1872d) left him
  • … & new views which are daily turning up’ ( letter to ARWallace, 28 August [1872] ).  …
  • Darwin used his correspondence with Airy to support his son Leonards application to join the
  • Lord Sackville Cecil, to attend a séance ( letter from MCStanley, 4 June 1872 ). There was
  • you agreed to let them have it for love!!!’ ( letter from RFCooke, 1 August 1872 ). It
  • gift, although he doubted he would ever use it ( letter to CLDodgson, 10 December 1872 ). …
  • try `with straight blunt knitting needle’ ( letter to LCWedgwood, 5 January [1872] ) to

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

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

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

  • The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the
  • in relation to Sex’. Always precise in his accounting, Darwin reckoned that he had started writing
  • gathered on each of these topics was far more extensive than Darwin had anticipated. As a result,  …
  • and St George Jackson Mivart, and heated debates sparked by Darwins proposed election to the French
  • shall be a man again & not a horrid grinding machine’  ( letter to Charles Lyell, 25 December
  • anything which has happened to me for some weeks’  ( letter to Albert Günther, 13 January [1870] ) …
  • corrections of style, the more grateful I shall be’  ( letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ) …
  • … , the latter when she was just eighteen years of age. Darwin clearly expected her to make a
  • who wd ever have thought that I shd. turn parson?’ ( letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ). …
  • abt any thing so unimportant as the mind of man!’ ( letter from H.