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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
  • all over like a baked pear’ ( enclosure in letter from R. W. Dixon, 20 December 1879 ). The year
  • by a person from his solicitors office to complete Horaces marriage settlement ( letter from W. M
  • 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
  • with the when & the where, & the who—’ ( letter from V. H. Darwin, 28 May [1879] ). On the
  • tastefully and well, and with little fatigue’ ( letter to G. H. Darwin, 12 July 1879 , and
  • to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 5 June 1879 , and letter to G. H. Darwin, 12 July 1879 ). Darwins
  • the highest point, for hiswhy”—“what for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first
  • 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
  • is his profession thonot a profitable one; also D r  C[lark]’s opinion that he was so likely to
  • and his family to the Riviera for the summer ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 23 July 1879 ). Allen, who
  • 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: 23 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
  • Williams wasa cheat and an imposter’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 27 January 1874 ). Darwin
  • he was thus free to perform his antics’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 29 January [1874] ). This did
  • alloweda spirit séanceat his home ( letter from T. G. Appleton, 2 April 1874 ). Back
  • were family affairs. Coral reefs His son Horace had suggested a new edition of the
  • sweetly all the horrid bother of correction’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 21 [March 1874] ). The
  • 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 ). …
  • conciseness & clearness of your thought’ ( letter from G. H. Darwin, 20 April 1874 ). …
  • the spread of various mental and physical disorders (G. H. Darwin 1873b). In July 1874, an anonymous
  • were also doing well. Despite ill health, his youngest son Horace began the year by taking the
  • without being bad & have done pretty well’ ( letter to Horace Darwin, 9 January [1874] ). …
  • 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
  • Sharpe for promotion at the British Museum ( letter to R. B. Sharpe, 24 November [1874] ).  He

Women’s scientific participation

Summary

Observers | Fieldwork | Experimentation | Editors and critics | Assistants Darwin’s correspondence helps bring to light a community of women who participated, often actively and routinely, in the nineteenth-century scientific community. Here is a…

Matches: 19 hits

  • … |  Editors and critics  |  Assistants Darwins correspondence helps bring to light a
  • community. Here is a selection of letters exchanged between Darwin and his workforce of women
  • Observers Women: Letter 1194 - Darwin to Whitby, M. A. T., [12 August
  • silkworm breeds, or peculiarities in inheritance. Letter 3787 - Darwin, H. E. to
  • to artificially fertilise plants in her garden. Letter 4523 - Wedgwood, L. C. to
  • … . Letter 5745 - Barber, M. E. to Darwin, [after February 1867] Mary Barber
  • Egypt. Letter 7223 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., [8 June 1867 - 72] Darwin
  • birds. Letter 5817 - Darwin to Huxley, T. H., [30 January 1868] Darwin
  • Letter 6535 - Vaughan Williams , M. S. to Darwin, H. E., [after 14 October 1869] …
  • Henrietta. Letter 7179 - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, [5 May 1870] …
  • Letter 4242 - Hildebrand, F. H. G. to Darwin, [16 July 1863] Hildebrand writes to
  • the wallpaper. Letter 5756 - Langton, E. & C. to Wedgwood S. E., [after 9
  • Letter 1701 - Morris, M. H. to Prior, R. C. A., [17 June 1855] Margaretta Hare Morris
  • Lychnis diurna. Letter 8168 - Ruck, A. R . to Darwin, H., [20 January 1872] …
  • on furrows and earthworm activity to her brother-in-law, Horace. She has dug a number of trenches, …
  • lawn. Letter 8224 - Darwin to Ruck, A. R., [24 February 1872] Darwin
  • for more samples. Letter 4928  - Henslow, G. to Darwin, [11 November 1865] …
  • Letter 1701  - Morris, M. H. to Prior, R. C. A., [17 June 1855] Margaretta Hare Morris
  • Letter 5254  - Hildebrand, F. H. G. to Darwin, [23 October 1866] German botanist

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: 24 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
  • my grandfathers character is of much value to me’ ( letter to C. H. Tindal, 5 January 1880 ). …
  • 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
  • by anticipation the position I have taken as regards D r Erasmus Darwin in my book Evolution old
  • … , sending one or both to his daughter Henrietta ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 1 February [1880] ). …
  • he will have the last word’, she warned ( letter from H. E. Litchfield, [1 February 1880] ). ‘He
  • 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
  • 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
  • and letting them out of their respective bags ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [6, 13, or 20] March
  • received more attention than the baby!’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, 17 December 1880 , and
  • great doctrines …“Come of Age”‘ ( letter from W. C. Williamson to Emma Darwin, 2 September 1880 ). …
  • elected fellow of the Royal Society. He rejoiced to see Horace and Ida settled in their new home in

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest

Summary

The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression.…

Matches: 28 hits

  • The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, seeing the publication of his
  • book out of my head’. But  a large proportion of Darwins time for the rest of the year was devoted
  • way, and the initial reception of the book in the press. Darwin fielded numerous letters from
  • offered sharp criticism or even condemnation. Darwin had expected controversy. ‘I shall be
  • a bare-faced manner.”‘ The most lively debate centred on Darwins evolutionary account of the
  • taste. Correspondence with his readers and critics helped Darwin to clarify, and in some cases
  • year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression. Darwin continued to investigate the
  • also brought a significant milestone for the family, as Darwins eldest daughter Henrietta was
  • during several past years, has been a great amusement’. Darwin had been working fairly continuously
  • work on species theory in the late 1830s. In recent years, Darwin had collected a wealth of material
  • to human evolution was comparatively small, reflecting Darwins aim of  showing kinship with animals
  • he istorn to piecesby people wanting copies’, Darwin wrote to his son Francis on 28 February
  • do to talk about it, which no doubt promotes the sale’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 March 1871 ) …
  • to her liking, ‘to keep in memory of the book’ ( letter to H. E. Darwin, 20 March 1871 ). …
  • and had forsaken his lunch and dinner in order to read it ( letter from James Crichton-Browne, 19
  • they believe to be the truth, whether pleasant or not’ (letter from W. W. Reade, 21 February 1871). …
  • … . ancestor lived between tide-marks!’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 20 February 1871 ). Asa Gray
  • and the heavy use of their arms and legs ( letter from C. L. Bernays, 25 February 1871 ). Samples
  • is a thing which I sh d  feel very proud of, if anyone c d . say of me.’ After the publication
  • was achieved throughthe medium of opinion, positive law &c’, and transmitted by culture, not
  • only themost guarded expressions’ ( letter to St G. J. Mivart, 23 January [1871] ). …
  • Abraham Dee Bartlett, Albert Günther, George Busk, T. H. Huxley, Osbert Salvin, and William Henry
  • and misquoting of both Darwin and Catholic theology (T. H. Huxley 1871). Huxley judged Mivart to be
  • in the world except. laughing. crying grinning pouting &c. &c’, he wrote to Hooker on 21
  • so giddy I can hardly sit up, so no more’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 4 August [1871] ). On 23
  • now left the family home. The Darwins&#039youngest son, Horace, entered Cambridge
  • to pursue studies in mathematics and science ( letter to Horace Darwin, [15 December 1871] ). …
  • … ( letter to Asa Gray, 16 July [1871] , letter to S. R. S. Norton, 23 November [1871] ). …

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: 23 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, …
  • it was by Gray himself, but Darwin corrected him: ‘D r  Gray would strike me in the face, but not
  • … . It is a disgrace to the paper’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 24 February [1868] ). The review was
  • April 1868 . The letter was addressed tothe Rev d  C. Darwin M.d’; Binstead evidently assumed
  • I did not see this, or rather I saw it only obs[c]urely, & have kept only a few references.’ …
  • classes, a dim ray of light may be gained’ ( letter to H. T. Stainton, 21 February [1868] ). From
  • of her two-month old daughter Katherine ( letter from C. M. Hawkshaw to Emma Darwin, 9 February
  • of the caudicle of  Ophrys muscifera  (letters from T. H. Farrer, 17 May 1868 and 18 May
  • to oneselfis no slight gain’ ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 17 September 1868 ). Darwin continued
  • rest mostly on faith, and on accumulation of adaptations, &c) … Of course I understand your
  • induced him to stay away ( letter from S. J. OH. Horsman, 2 June [1868] ). But if Horsman
  • at Leonards success’, Darwin wrote to his youngest son, Horace, on 26 July , ‘is it not splendid? …
  • and evenpreached  against’ ( letter from G. D. Hinrichs, [before 13 August 1868] ). Finally, …

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: 25 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
  • The death of Hugh Falconer Darwins first letter to Hooker of 1865 suggests that the family
  • having all the Boys at home: they make the house jolly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] …
  • 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
  • the improvement to Joness diet ( see letter to T. H. Huxley, 4 October [1865] ). It was not until
  • 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
  • hang on it a good many groups of facts.’ ( Letter to T. H. Huxley, 27 May [1865] .) The
  • … “producingthis and that modification of structure’ (G. D. Campbell 1864, pp. 2756). Campbell
  • humans (see  Correspondence  vol. 10, letter from J. H. Balfour, 14 January 1862 ). According
  • He wrote to Hooker, ‘I doubt whether you or I or any one c d  do any good in healing this breach. …
  • a trying year. In January he had influenza ( letter from F. H. Hooker, [27 January 1865] ); before
  • Hookers behalf, ‘He asks if you saw the article of M r . Croll in the last Reader on the
  • he wrote to Hooker that all the family were well, including Horace, who had been sickly for some
  • were still at school in Clapham, south-west London, and Horace was seeing a private tutor. Henrietta
  • Carr of Carrlyon , pronouncing itutter trash after G. Eliot’. Darwin replied ( letter to
  • … ‘As for your thinking that you do not deserve the C[opley] Medal,’ he rebuked Hooker, ‘that I

Darwin in letters, 1881: Old friends and new admirers

Summary

In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began writing about all the eminent men he had met. He embarked on this task, which formed an addition to his autobiography, because he had nothing else to do. He had…

Matches: 22 hits

  • In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began
  • a very old man, who probably will not last much longer.’ Darwins biggest fear was not death, but
  • sweetest place on this earth’. From the start of the year, Darwin had his demise on his mind. He
  • provision for the dividing of his wealth after his death. Darwins gloominess was compounded by the
  • and new admirers got in touch, and, for all his fears, Darwin found several scientific topics to
  • Evolution old and new when revising his essay on Erasmus Darwins scientific work, and that Darwin
  • in Unconscious memory in November 1880 and in an abusive letter about Darwin in the St Jamess
  • memory in Kosmos and sent Darwin a separate letter for publication in the Journal of Popular
  • publishers decided to print500 more, making 2000’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January 1881 ) …
  • learnt from its own individual experience ( letter from G. J. Romanes, 7 March 1881 ). The
  • the sale of books beinga game of chance’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 12 April 1881 ). On 18 May
  • he would feelless sulky in a day or two’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 29 July 1881 ). The degree of
  • falls at this late period of the season’ ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 30 July 1881 ). Darwin gave in
  • with you’, a Swedish teacher told him ( letter from C. E. Södling, 14 October 1881 ), while H. M. …
  • to possibilities for women, judging from her organization &c’. When Darwin replied the following
  • … ‘bread-winners’ ( Correspondence vol. 30, letter to C. A. Kennard, 9 January 1882 ). …
  • publication & to acknowledge any criticism’ ( letter to C. G. Semper, 19 July 1881 ). He
  • … , which he thoughtan excellent Journal’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 4 July [1881] ). In these
  • in heavenwhen the portrait was finished ( letter to G. H. Darwin, 23 July 1881 ). ‘All my family
  • was the progress of his sonscareers. The success of Horaces recently established Cambridge
  • the help of Lord Rayleigh, George Darwin, and Horace Darwinthe task of defending Darwins arguments
  • grandson, was born in Cambridge. His parents, Ida and Horace Darwin, named him Erasmus in honour of

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: 27 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
  • the record breaks off until January 1852, by which time the Darwin family had increased by five: …
  • born 16 August 1848; Leonard, born 15 January 1850; and Horace, born 18 May 1851. It appears to have
  • the onset of frowning, smiling, etc., as was the focus of Darwins attention on William and Anne, …
  • of muscles, without a corresponding sensation. D r . Holland[12informs me children do not
  • 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
  • trowsers. Emma one morning put on an unconspicuous bonnet of C. Langton,[52W. instantly observed
  • she added an s to the end of every wordEttis & Bettis &c afterwards all the ws were turned
  • goed dawn to the willage”. Fish for Smith. Kaw for cow. &c. Lenny[612 years old speaks
  • 6 lying on the rug. I said, my boys are not fond of reading. G. I  hate  readingI like drawing
  • 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
  • any thing with my egg. Miss Th. Shall I cut up y r  meat? L. I dont care whether you do or
  • … “But I could not help it”— I saidLenny you c d  help it, dont say that”. “I could not help it a
  • … ”.[76] June 61854. Lenny after quarrelling with Horace, “I  feel  that I shall never play
  • … , pp. 1312. [6Correspondence  vol. 2, letter from Emma Wedgwood, [23 January 1839] . …
  • first books that she could recall encountering as a child (H. E. Litchfield papers, CUL). [60

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: 21 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