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List of correspondents

Summary

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,…

Matches: 14 hits

  • … child of God" (1) Abberley, John (1) …
  • … Adams, A. L. (1) Addison, John (1) …
  • … C. J. (3) Andrews, John (1) Ann. …
  • … Balfour, J. H. (7) Ball, John (5) …
  • … Beckhard, Martin (1) Beddoe, John (3) …
  • … C. H. (8) Blackwall, John (4) …
  • … J. A. H. de (11) Bostock, John (1) …
  • … Bridgman, W. K. (3) Brigg, John (1) …
  • … Busch, Otto (1) Bush, John (3) Busk, …
  • … Caton, J. D. (9) Cattell, John (3) …
  • … the Exchequer (1) Chapman, John (4) …
  • … Coe, Henry (6) Coghlan, John (2) …
  • … Colburn, Henry (3) Colby, John (3) …
  • … Job, R. A. (1) John Murray (181) …

Darwin in letters, 1867: A civilised dispute

Summary

Charles Darwin’s major achievement in 1867 was the completion of his large work, The variation of animals and plants under domestication (Variation). The importance of Darwin’s network of correspondents becomes vividly apparent in his work on expression in…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … of the size of the two-volume work from his publisher, John Murray, he wrote to Murray on 3 …
  • … a chapter ‘on Man’. After a few days, he wrote back to Murray proposing that some of the more …
  • … is as good as praise for selling a Book’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 January [1867] ). A …
  • … and the tedious work of correction began. Darwin wrote to Murray on 18 March to say that he …
  • … to translate  Variation . Indeed, he told his publisher, John Murray, in a letter of 4 April …
  • … time it took William Sweetland Dallas to prepare the index. John Murray had engaged Dallas and …
  • … was sure that the colours were protective and suggested that John Jenner Weir might conduct …

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: 11 hits

  • … to spread my views’, he wrote to his publisher, John Murray, on 30 January , shortly after …
  • … The public are accustomed to novels for 1s’, he wrote to Murray on 8 January , but Murray …
  • … the new edition in the United States, Darwin arranged with Murray to have it stereotyped. Before the …
  • … Hooker’s cause was taken up by his friends, in particular John Lubbock and John Tyndall, as one …
  • … to Gladstone a week later ( enclosure to letter from John Lubbock to W. E. Gladstone, 20 June 1872 …
  • … photographic plates with his overseas publishers, and with John Murray’s assistant, the excitable …
  • … of the booksellers, encouraged an originally cautious John Murray to gamble on the book’s success: & …
  • … attractive dishes in his `Literary Banquet’ (letters from John Murray, 6 November [1872] and 9 …
  • … in those born blind, and filed away other letters, but Murray’s confidence proved misplaced; demand …
  • … to supply comparative observations, and Darwin’s protégé John Scott, now employed as a curator in …
  • … a copy of  Expression  to another old Cambridge friend, John Maurice Herbert, who when they were …

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: 18 hits

  • … had been in two volumes and had cost twenty-four shillings.) Murray’s partner, Robert Francis Cooke, …
  • … Quarterly Review  discussing works on primitive man by John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor. It …
  • … of anonymous reviews. Its proprietor was none other than John Murray, Darwin’s publisher. So …
  • … wording of both the letter to the editor and the letter to Murray to accompany it. The depth of …
  • … a new publisher’ and advised that Darwin should not push Murray to the point of cutting off …
  • … ‘asking a favour ‘. He explained why he had written to Murray and not the editor of the  Quarterly …
  • … to review me in a hostile spirit’ ( letter to John Murray, 11 August 1874 ). Darwin was …
  • … St G. J. Mivart, 11 January [1872] ). To Darwin’s relief, Murray replied immediately: ‘I have lost …
  • … number of the Review & in the same type’  ( letter from John Murray, 12 August 1874 ). George …
  • … anonymous reviews. While staying with Hooker over Christmas, John Tyndall, professor at and …
  • … as ‘the natural outflow of his character’ ( letter from John Tyndall, 28 December 1874 ). …
  • … to purchase the wooded land, which he had been renting from John Lubbock, led to a straining of …
  • … the sale was agreed in April for £300 ( letter from John Lubbock, 2 April 1874 ), a high price …
  • … for about a week ( letter from E. E. Klein, 14 May 1874 ). John Burdon Sanderson sent the results …
  • … of other insect-eating plants. The surgeon and botanist John Ralfs sent  Utricularia  from …
  • … in order to work on its difficult structures ( letter to John Ralfs, 13 July [1874] ). The …
  • … a printed appeal for funds, raising £860 ( Circular to John Lubbock, P. L. Sclater, Charles Lyell, …
  • … from E. A. Darwin, 17 [March 1874] ). He tried to persuade John Murray to publish a second edition …

Women as a scientific audience

Summary

Target audience? | Female readership | Reading Variation Darwin's letters, in particular those exchanged with his editors and publisher, reveal a lot about his intended audience. Regardless of whether or not women were deliberately targeted as a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … chapters of Origin of Species to his publisher, John Murray. He hopes that his views are …

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: 9 hits

  • … on 24 February, and all 2500 copies were sold in a week. ‘Murray says he is “torn to pieces” by …
  • … on 28 February . Demand continued throughout the year, and Murray produced three more printings, …
  • … expressed by Darwin’s old friend, the former vicar of Down John Brodie Innes. Darwin and Innes had …
  • … ‘a windbag full of metaphysics & classics’ ( letter to John Murray, 13 April [1871] ). …
  • … Gazette , and wrote to its author, who turned out to be John Morley, a leading advocate of …
  • … and transmitted by culture, not biology ( letter from John Morley, 30 March 1871 ). …
  • … by his wife and children. William offered his assessment of John Stuart Mill’s theory of …
  • … he suspected that very few would actually sell (letters to John Murray, 17 August [1871] and …
  • … years following the publication of  Origin of species . Murray convinced him to appear in  Vanity …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments

Summary

1862 was a particularly productive year for Darwin. This was not only the case in his published output (two botanical papers and a book on the pollination mechanisms of orchids), but more particularly in the extent and breadth of the botanical experiments…

Matches: 16 hits

  • … of sterility between varieties of  Verbascum . When John Scott, foreman of the propagating …
  • … Darwin, impressed, gave him the commission ( see letter to John Scott, 11 December [1862] ). …
  • … to publish on  Linum  ‘at once’ ( letter to John Scott, 11 December [1862] ), writing up his …
  • … buy it. When he submitted the manuscript to his publisher, John Murray, he boasted: ‘I can say with …
  • … in the least , whether the Book will sell’ ( letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862] ). To his …
  • … paper for the  Natural History Review  ( see letter to John Lubbock, 16 [December 1862] ). Aware …
  • … of the old  Beagle  crew, Bartholomew James Sulivan, John Clements Wickham, and Arthur Mellersh, …
  • … of this, he prescribed strict conditions for a meeting with John Lubbock: ‘if you could … let me go …
  • … at 9 o clock I do not think it would hurt me’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 23 October [1862] ). …
  • … on botany. Even at the start of their correspondence he told John Scott: ‘Botany is a new subject to …
  • … odds & ends of botany & you know far more’ ( letter to John Scott, 19 November [1862] ). …
  • … Lyell, 14 October [1862] ). Moreover, when the physicist John Tyndall, fresh from a summer in the …
  • … of Darwin’s circle was in Switzerland in the summer: John Lubbock briefly met up with Tyndall and …
  • … discovered prehistoric lake-dwellings ( see letter from John Lubbock, 23 August 1862 ). Lubbock …
  • … to view the prehistoric sites near Amiens ( see letter from John Lubbock, 15 May 1862 ), and he …
  • … about the antiquity of the human species ( see letter from John Lubbock, 6 January 1862 ). …

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…

Matches: 13 hits

  • … March 1868, Darwin wrote to the entomologist and accountant John Jenner Weir, ‘If any man wants to …
  • … domestication . Having been advertised by the publisher John Murray as early as 1865, the two …
  • … a great loss to the Book’. But Darwin’s angry letter to Murray crossed one from Dallas to himself, …
  • … a cheque to Dallas for £55  s ., and recommended to Murray that Dallas receive additional payment. …
  • … of the book were sold within a month of its release, and Murray made immediate arrangements for a …
  • … profound contempt of me. I feel convinced it is by Owen’. John Edward Gray, a colleague of Richard …
  • … me in the face, but not behind my back’ ( letter to John Murray, 25 February [1868] ). Wallace …
  • … R. Wallace, 24 February [1868] ). The review was in fact by John Robertson, a Scottish journalist …
  • … a letter of thanks to the naturalist and customs offcial John Jenner Weir for a paper on apterous …
  • … depends on the actions of the female’, and of rats, John Bush observed on 30 March that two …
  • … the whole System is sustained.’ The former Down clergyman, John Brodie Innes, passed easily over …
  • … and joy. Satisfaction in one’s children, Darwin wrote to John Price on 26 November , was ‘the …
  • … poets, and men of science, including Adam Sedgwick, John Stevens Henslow, and William Jackson Hooker …

Darwin in letters,1866: Survival of the fittest

Summary

The year 1866 began well for Charles Darwin, as his health, after several years of illness, was now considerably improved. In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of  Origin. Darwin got the fourth…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … of scientific admirers at Down, among them Robert Caspary, John Traherne Moggridge, and Ernst …
  • … regime led to Darwin’s being teased by his neighbour, John Lubbock, about the prospect of riding to …
  • … with our beagles before the season is over’ ( letter from John Lubbock, 4 August 1866 ). More …
  • … On 21 February Darwin received notification from John Murray that stocks of the third edition of  …
  • … George Henslow, the son of his Cambridge mentor, John Stevens Henslow, stayed for two days in April …
  • … In June, Darwin was visited by the orchid specialist John Traherne Moggridge, whose work on the self …
  • … out, ‘business would be totally paralysed’. Similarly, John Murray gave as a reason for his decision …
  • … ‘gaieties travelling & War Bulletins’ ( letter from John Murray, 18 July 1866 ). I …
  • … for the criminal prosecution of the colonial governor Edward John Eyre. In his efforts to suppress …

Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?

Summary

Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … Thomas Lauder Brunton, a specialist in pharmacology, and John Scott Burdon Sanderson, a professor at …
  • … “for Heaven knows when it will be ready” ( letter to John Murray, 4 May [1873] ). Keeping …
  • … with leading physiologists such as David Ferrier and John Hughlings Jackson. Darwin declined to …
  • … Instinct  In February, Darwin received a letter from John Traherne Moggridge on the nature of …
  • … fund was first suggested in early April by Katharine Murray Lyell in conversation with Emma Darwin, …
  • … A group of Huxley’s close friends, including Hooker, John Lubbock, Herbert Spencer, John Tyndall, …
  • … edition was called for. There were commercial advantages for Murray in bringing out a substantially …
  • … your own power & usefulness”, citing the examples of John Stuart Mill and Charles Lyell, who …
  • … from Ernst Meitzen, 17 January 1873 ). A poor-law officer, John Farr, wrote: “Faith like Species, …
  • … more permanent than species are permanent” ( letter from John Farr, 7 July 1873 ). Further …
  • … closer to home, when he was graced by an invitation from John Jenner Weir to act as a patron of the …

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: 3 hits

  • … and amphibians, while Roland Trimen in South Africa and John Jenner Weir in London sent more …
  • … and broadening the forums in which Darwinism was discussed. John Murray brought out the first issue …
  • … that to me would have been a pleasing sight’ ( letter to John Murray, [after 18 September 1869] ). …

Darwin in letters, 1864: Failing health

Summary

On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July 1864: ‘the venerable beard gives the look of your having suffered, and … of having grown older’.  Because of poor health, Because of poor health, Darwin…

Matches: 12 hits

  • … of a paper by another of his orchid correspondents, John Traherne Moggridge, who in June sent him …
  • … of insect pollinators in 1864 and following years. John Scott again Much of Darwin’s …
  • … plight of another of Darwin’s fellow orchid-experimenters, John Scott. Their correspondence had been …
  • … five years. Scott felt that his superiors, James McNab and John Hutton Balfour, no longer treated …
  • … indomitable perseverance, and his knowledge’ ( letter to John Scott, 10 June 1864 ). Hooker met …
  • … support ‘on the grounds of science’ ( letter to John Scott, 9 April 1864 ), but Scott declined …
  • … 1864 ). A notably rambling and long letter arrived from John Beck, a Shrewsbury schoolfellow of …
  • … by a merciful deity for the use of humankind ( letter from John Beck, 6 October 1864 ). …
  • … his brother Erasmus told him of a subscription fund for John William Colenso, bishop of Natal, South …
  • … that a Neanderthal race once extended across Europe. John Lubbock mentioned his forthcoming volume …
  • … of the Royal Society, Edward Sabine, to the geologist John Phillips revealed Sabine’s fears that in …
  • … ever so little degree the Council’s award’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 21 December [1864] ). In …

Bartholomew James Sulivan

Summary

On Christmas Day 1866, Bartholomew Sulivan sat down to write a typically long and chatty letter to his old friend, Charles Darwin, commiserating on shared ill-health, glorying in the achievements of their children, offering to collect plant specimens, and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … he organised a reunion at Down with Arthur Mellersh and John Clements Wickham which Darwin …

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: 12 hits

  • … Nemesis to China [Bernard 1844]. The Emigrant, Head [F. B. Head 1846] St. John’s …
  • … B.M. 6. 6. Black Edin. Longman [Ramsay 1848] St. John’s Nat. Hist. of Sutherlanshire, Murray …
  • … Liebigs Lectures on Chemistry [Liebig 1851]. Sir John Davies. China during the War and Peace …
  • … ] to end of Vol: XVIII & Part I. of V. 19 (1843) 25. Murray Domestic Poultry.— Domestic …
  • … d . Series. vol 3. p. 1 to 312 30 th  Colquhoun (John) The Moor & the Loch [Colquhoun …
  • … Buffon [Milne-Edwards 1834–40]. March 5 th  St. John’s Highlands [Saint John 1846] 8 …
  • … Tone Autobiography [Tone 1826] very amusing March 10 John Galt Autobiography [Galt 1833] poor …
  • … 1848] Madam Malguet [Torrens] 1848] —— Lives of John & Alex. Belthune [?Bethune 1840 and …
  • … Ireland [Thompson 1849–56]. Vol. I. II & 3 May. St. John’s Tour in Sutherlandshire [Saint …
  • … many vols. I have read.— [DAR *128: 149] Murray Geograph. Distrib. Price William …
  • … up the River   Amazon, including a residence at Pará . (Murray’s Home and Colonial Library.) …
  • … Translated from the German and French by Lady Duff Gordon. (Murray’s Home and Colonial Library.) …

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: 4 hits

  • … had been founded in March 1876 by the London physiologist John Scott Burdon Sanderson to discuss how …
  • … Darwin rejoiced to hear that the Cambridge astronomer John Couch Adams not only approved of George’s …
  • … at the pre-publication sale dinner held by his publisher, John Murray ( letter to John Murray, 15 …
  • … ). In England, the clergyman botanist George Henslow, son of John Stevens Henslow, Darwin’s …

Darwin and the Church

Summary

The story of Charles Darwin’s involvement with the church is one that is told far too rarely. It shows another side of the man who is more often remembered for his personal struggles with faith, or for his role in large-scale controversies over the…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … scientific interests. Indeed, Darwin’s Cambridge mentor, John Stevens Henslow, and his friend and …
  • … the work of Non-conformist preachers in the village. John Brodie Innes Many of the …
  • … to such strained relations that Darwin’s neighbour, John Lubbock, was forced to send a series of …
  • … chapter . Edited by Francis Darwin. 3 vols. London: John Murray. 1887–8. Moore, James. 1985. …

Books on the Beagle

Summary

‘Considering the limited disposable space in so very small a ship, we contrived to carry more instruments and books than one would readily suppose could be stowed away in dry and secure places’. So wrote Captain FitzRoy in the Narrative (2: 18). CD, in his…

Matches: 23 hits

  • … books were kept in the poop cabin where CD worked and slept. John Lort Stokes and Philip Gidley King …
  • … Antoine de.  A voyage round the world.  Translated by John Reinhold Forster. London, 1772. ( …
  • … Travels through Norway and Lapland . . .Translated . . . by John Black. With Notes . . . by Robert …
  • … etc. London, 1743. (DAR 36.1: 447). Burchell, William John.  Travels in the interior of …
  • … 1826. (DAR 31.2: 333; Stoddart 1962, p.4). Byron, John.  The narrative of the Honourable …
  • … Voyages  (editions unidentified; see also Hawkesworth, John). (DAR 32.2: 89v.; Robert FitzRoy’s …
  • … 8e, 10;  ‘Beagle’ diary , p. 407). Daniell, John Frederic.  Meteorological essays and …
  • … and western coasts of Australia. Fleming, John.  The philosophy of zoology . . .  2 vols. …
  • … atlas.  London, 1814. (DAR 30.1: 30v.). Forster, John Reinhold.  Observations made during a …
  • … vols. Edinburgh, 1824. (DAR 37.1: 662). Hawkesworth, John.  An account of the voyages …
  • … 36.1: 469v.). Darwin Library–Down. ‡ Henslow, John Stevens. Geological description of …
  • … essay on the kingdom of New Spain.  Translated by John Black. 2 vols. New York, 1811. (Inscription, …
  • … de.  A voyage to South America . . .  Translated by John Adams. 2 vols. 4th ed. London, 1806. …
  • … (see Jones, T.)). Darwin Library–CUL †. * Mawe, John.  Travels in the gold and diamond …
  • …  3 vols. London, 1820. (DAR 32.1: 51v.). Michell, John. Conjectures concerning the cause . . …
  • … notebook,  p. 80). Darwin Library–CUL †. Miers, John.  Travels in Chile and La Plata . . . …
  • … 28 August 1834). Darwin Library–CUL †. Milton, John.  Paradise lost.  ( ’Beagle’ diary , …
  • … 1831’). Darwin Library–CUL †. § Narborough, John.  An account of several late voyages.  2 …
  • … Darwin Library–CUL, 4th ed., 1837. ‡ Playfair, John.  Illustrations of the Huttonian theory …
  • … 1821. (DAR 30.1: 30). Darwin Library–CUL. Thompson, John Vaughan.  Zoological researches and …
  • … world in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768 , in Hawkesworth, John  An account of the voyages . . . …
  • … , p. 20e). Hall, Basil. See below, Playfair, John. Humboldt, Alexander von.  Tableaux …
  • … refers to the author as ‘L. Jackson’). Playfair, John. Account of the structure of the table …

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: 5 hits

  • … to Darwin, [1873] Ellen Lubbock, wife of naturalist John Lubbock, responds to Darwin’s …
  • … 6815 - Scott, J. to Darwin, [2 July 1869] John Scott responds to Darwin’s queries …
  • …  - Weir, J. J. to Darwin, [24 March 1868] John Weir describes experiments he is undertaking …
  • … editorial criticism of a paper written by English naturalist John Lubbock. In addition to offering …
  • …  - Weir, J. J. to Darwin, [24 March 1868] John Weir describes experiments he is undertaking …

Descent

Summary

There are more than five hundred letters associated with the research and writing of Darwin’s book, Descent of man and selection in relation to sex (Descent). They trace not only the tortuous route to eventual publication, but the development of Darwin’s…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … .  There were some signs of nerves: it was certain, he told John Murray, to ‘excite attention & …
  • … to ‘ have a say so much ’. In October 1869 John Murray advertised a forthcoming ‘New Work …

Suggested reading

Summary

There is an extensive secondary literature on Darwin's life and work. Here are some suggested titles that focus Darwin’s correspondence, as well as scientific correspondence and letter-writing more generally. Collections of Darwin’s letters …

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter . London: John Murray. Sources on …
  • … by David Barton and Nigel Hall. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Pp. 15–29. Chartier, …
  • … practice , edited by D. Barton and N. Hall. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pp. 83–108. Hornbeak, …
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