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Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

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

Matches: 19 hits

  • There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1879 on this website.  The full texts
  • 27 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin , published by Cambridge
  • to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an
  • the sensitivity of the tips. Despite this breakthrough, when Darwin first mentioned the book to his
  • home again’, he fretted, just days before his departure ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [after 26
  • many blessings, was finding old agea dismal time’ ( letter to Henry Johnson, 24 September 1879 ) …
  • 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
  • office to complete Horaces marriage settlement ( letter from W. M. Hacon, 31 December 1879 ). …
  • with Charles Darwin and Ernst Haeckel. Kosmos was, as Francis Darwin reported from Germany that
  • the children correctly’, mentioning in particular that Francis Galton was the son of one of Erasmus
  • to contradict false statements that had been published by Francis Galtons aunt, Mary Anne
  • and he regretted going beyond histether’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 5 June 1879 , and
  • travellerneither cross nor ennuied’ (Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: 125
  • … & that it was suppressed gout. Also how well off he wd be, w. is a matter of some consequence
  • wait for three months. ‘Nothing can be more useless than T.Hs conduct’, Emma Darwin pointed out, …
  • to say that he has opposed it’ (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: …
  • German men of science quarrelled (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [6 September 1879] (DAR
  • agreed to their engagement being made public ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 12 October 1879 ). Darwin

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep

Summary

In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to the movements of plants. He investigated the growth pattern of roots and shoots, studying the function of specific organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of…

Matches: 20 hits

  • … lessen injury to leaves from radiation In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to …
  • … organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of experiments …
  • … of most advanced plant laboratories in Europe. While Francis was away, Darwin delighted in …
  • … from botanical research was provided by potatoes, as Darwin took up the cause of an Irish …
  • … would rid Ireland of famine. Several correspondents pressed Darwin for his views on religion, …
  • … closed with remarkable news of a large legacy bequeathed to Darwin by a stranger as a reward for his …
  • … Hooker, ‘or as far as I know any scientific man’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 December [1878] ). …
  • … or arched.… Almost all seedlings come up arched’ ( letter to Sophy Wedgwood, 24 March [1878–80] ). …
  • … (see Movement in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering …
  • … when he finds out that he missed sensitiveness of apex’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [11 May 1878] …
  • … the bassoon & apparently more by a high than a low note.’ Francis apparently played the musical …
  • Darwin complained. ‘I am ashamed at my blunder’ ( letter to John Tyndall, 22 December [1878] ). …
  • … accursed German language: Sachs is very kind to him’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 18 June …
  • … have nobody to talk to, about my work, I scribble to you ( letter to Francis Darwin, 7 [July 1878] …
  • … from Francis Darwin, [22 June 1878] ). ‘Sachs doesn’t consider that there is any puzzle as to how …
  • … he was unwell. ‘I was rather seedy last night & didn’t appear at the laboratory & this …
  • … ill favour because however civilly I may word it a man can’t like to have his work torn to shreds …
  • … bitter opponent’ ( Correspondence vol. 24, letter to T. C. Eyton, 22 April 1876 ). ‘When I …
  • … successive seminal generations’ ( enclosure to letter to T. H. Farrer, 7 March 1878 ). In the end, …
  • … him of the soundness of London property ( letter from W. E. Darwin, 13 December [1878] ). ‘This is …

Movement in Plants

Summary

The power of movement in plants, published on 7 November 1880, was the final large botanical work that Darwin wrote. It was the only work in which the assistance of one of his children, Francis Darwin, is mentioned on the title page. The research for this…

Matches: 22 hits

  • 7 November 1880was the final large botanical work that Darwin wrote. It was the only work in which
  • about their research while he was away from home. Although Darwin lacked a state of the art research
  • research being pursued by other naturalists who, like Francis, had come to this centre for the study
  • methods and use the most advanced laboratory equipment. Darwin also benefitted from the instrument
  • copied but also improved on some of the apparatuses that Francis had been introduced to at Würzburg. …
  • plant physiology, but it was at its core informed by Darwins theory of evolution, particularly by
  • had considered combining the works in a single volume ( letter to J. V. Carus, 7 February 1875 ). …
  • from all over Europe and beyond. When Darwins son Francis worked in this laboratory in the summers
  • had also asked Horace to discuss the point with his friend Francis Balfour(258). Darwin promised to
  • … , a plant that exhibited all three types of movement ( letter from RILynch, [before 28 July
  • was reported by Francis, who added that Sachsdoesnt think very much of Pfeffer, that is he says
  • the woodblock using photography for scientific accuracy ( letter from JDCooper13 December
  • lost colour, withered, and died within a couple of days ( letter from A. F. Batalin28 February
  • how their observations could have been so much at odds ( letter to Hugo de Vries 13 February 1879
  • the botanist Gaetano Durando, to find plants and seeds ( letter to Francis Darwin, [4 February8
  • FranksTransversal-Heliotropismus’ ( letter from WEDarwin10 February [1880] ). …
  • many of the caustic ones were bentso Sachs doesnt believe in it a bithe says the growth is
  • … ‘ I am very sorry that Sachs is so sceptical, for I w drather convert him than any other half
  • aslittle discsandgreenish bodies’ ( letter to WTThiselton-Dyer29 October 1879 ). …
  • that he had not been able to observe earlier ( letter to WTThiselton-Dyer20 November 1879 ). …
  • decided to translate the work into GermanDarwin neednt have worried. Carus wasmost happy to
  • pay more for at the usual rate of charging per inch &c they w dbe over £40’; he suggested

Darwin in letters, 1877: Flowers and honours

Summary

Ever since the publication of Expression, Darwin’s research had centred firmly on botany. The year 1877 was no exception. The spring and early summer were spent completing Forms of flowers, his fifth book on a botanical topic. He then turned to the…

Matches: 23 hits

  • Ever since the publication of Expression , Darwins research had centred firmly on botany. The
  • of these projects would culminate in a major publication. Darwins botany was increasingly a
  • assisted his fathers research on movement and bloom, and Darwin in turn encouraged his sons own
  • The year 1877 was more than usually full of honours. Darwin received two elaborate photograph albums
  • from Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Closer to home, Darwin received an honorary Doctorate of
  • sites for possible earthworm activity. Now in his 69th year, Darwin remained remarkably productive, …
  • no controversy. In his autobiographical reflections, Darwin remarked: ‘no little discovery of
  • of respect and affection’. He hinted as much in his letter of 4 June : ‘you will see I have done
  • value, it is not likely that more than a few hundred copies w d . be sold’. His publisher knew
  • to Down if it lay in my power and you thought it w d . help you.’ ‘I declare had it not been for
  • In the end, Darwin did not publish on the subject, but Francis later reported some of the results of
  • have shared Hookers suspicion of ambitious gardeners ( letter from W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 25 August
  • … … tap one of the young leaves with a delicate twig’ ( letter to R. I. Lynch, 14 September 1877 ). …
  • with thread, card, and bits of glass. Encouraging Francis Darwin greatly enjoyed
  • eminent German botanist Ferdinand Julius Cohn, who confirmed Franciss observations: ‘the most
  • … , or to the vibratory flagella of some Infusoria’ ( letter from F. J. Cohn, 5 August 1877 ). …
  • in July 1877 (F. Darwin 1877b), and Darwin sent Cohns letter vindicating his sons research to
  • copies of Kosmos covering the German debate (letters to W. E. Gladstone, 2 October 1877 and
  • his sense of form and of motion was exact and lively’ ( letter from W. E. Gladstone, 23 October
  • Siebolds study of medical monstrosity ( letter from C. T. E. Siebold, 10 October 1877 ). An
  • blood and thus keep back our civilization’ ( letter from W. B. Bowles, 17 May 1877 ). Bowles
  • to hide the absence of humanity beneath’ ( letter from W. B. Bowles, 18 May 1877 ). More
  • exhibit is in many cases purely physical’ ( letter from W. M. Moorsom, 10 September 1877 ). Darwin

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
  • the first member of the next generation of the family, with Francis and Amys child expected in
  • four days later. ‘I cannot bear to think of the future’, Darwin confessed to William on 11
  • beloved daughter-in-law and relief from his anxiety about Francis. By the end of the year there was
  • quantity of workleft in him fornew matter’ (letter to Asa Gray, 28 January 1876). The
  • to a reprint of the second edition of Climbing plants ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 23 February
  • … & 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
  • nowadays is evolution and it is the correct one’ ( letter from Nemo, [1876?] ). …
  • himbaselyand who had succeeded in giving him pain ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 17 June 1876 ). …
  • Darwin reassured his close friend Joseph Hooker that he and Francis would attend the meeting. Darwin
  • been cast by thepoorest curs in London’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [4 February 1876] ). …
  • subject takes an opposite line’. Although he conceded that Francis had the best of an argument with
  • to propose the young rising star of Cambridge morphology, Francis Maitland Balfour, for fellowship
  • of the earliest available commercial models of typewriter. Francis Darwin and his wife, Amy, …
  • of illness & misery there is in the world’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 26 May [1876] ). A
  • we have & you are one of the best of all’ ( letter to W. E. Darwin, 11 September [1876] ). …
  • been the subject of mere observation’ ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 31 December 1876 ). The Swiss

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: 25 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
  • 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
  • of the false accusation’. Other friends rallied round. Francis Balfour translated Krauses account
  • had been a major undertaking for both Darwin and his son Francis, who assisted in the many
  • publishers decided to print500 more, making 2000’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January 1881 ) …
  • … & very surprising the whole case is to me’ (letters to W. E. Darwin, 31 January [1881] and
  • the animal learnt from its own individual experience ( letter from G. J. Romanes, 7 March 1881 ). …
  • whether observations of their behaviour were trustworthy ( letter to Francis Galton, 8 March [1881] …
  • about the sale of books beinga game of chance’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 12 April 1881 ). On 18
  • July, sending the pages to Germany for further checks by Francis Darwin, who was spending the summer
  • Ruskin, who lived there. Sending the last two chapters to Francis on 27 May , Darwin wrote, …
  • to begin any new subject requiring much work’, he told Francis Darwin on 30 May . ‘I have been
  • case.’ An additional motivation may have been to support Francis Darwins published research on
  • Darwin tried a variety of plants and reagents, telling Francis on 17 October , ‘I have wasted
  • for more suggestions of such plants, especially annuals ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 21 March
  • supposed he would feelless sulky in a day or two’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 29 July 1881 ). The
  • little, to the general stock of knowledge’ ( letter to E. W. Bok, 10 May 1881 ). Josef Popper, an
  • of the nature & capabilities of the Fuegians’ ( letter to W. P. Snow, 22 November 1881 ). …
  • … ‘not absurd for one with no pretensions’ (l etter from W. E. Darwin, 13 January [1881 ]), Darwin
  • the terms of the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act ( letter to T. L. Brunton, 19 November 1881 ). Darwin

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings

Summary

‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 24 hits

  • Editions Plants always held an important place in Darwins theorising about species, and
  • his periods of severe illness. Yet on 15 January 1875 , Darwin confessed to his close friend
  • way to continuous writing and revision, activities that Darwin found less gratifying: ‘I am slaving
  • bad.’ The process was compounded by the fact that Darwin was also revising another manuscript
  • coloured stamens.’ At intervals during the year, Darwin was diverted from the onerous task of
  • zoologist St George Jackson Mivart. In April and early May, Darwin was occupied with a heated
  • chapter of the controversy involved a slanderous attack upon Darwins son George, in an anonymous
  • On 8 January , he told Hooker: ‘I will write a savage letter & that will do me some good, if I
  • on 12 January , breaking off all future communication. Darwin had been supported during the affair
  • to the EditorPoor Murray shuddered again & again’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 16 January
  • Darwin had become acquainted with Klein when his son Francis was studying medicine in London. Klein
  • offered to pay the costs for printing an additional 250 ( letter to John Murray, 3 May 1875 ). …
  • very much obliged to you For now of course we shant Be taken in or done for By
  • … & bless the day That ever you were born (letter from E. F. Lubbock, [after 2
  • that the originally red half has become wholly white’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [before 4
  • performed on animals in previous years by Darwins cousin Francis Galton. These had been
  • pp. 18890). He drew attention to this discussion in a letter to George Rolleston, remarking on 2
  • manuscripts and proofs, Darwin now relied heavily on his son Francis, who had made the decision in
  • Darwin wrote, ‘I beg ten thousand pardon & more’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [ c . February
  • plants , and moved on to Variation 2d ed., Francis signed himself, ‘Your affect sonthe
  • both critical and reverential. On 16 July he received a letter from an advocate of womens
  • 219.1: 89). The most eminent of Darwins guests was Francis, duke of Teck, a German prince
  • Darwin could not keep up, and on 22 July , he had Francis reply: ‘My Father desires me to say
  • agreed to see him at Down with Thiselton-Dyer ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 7 July 1875 ). It

The "wicked book": Origin at 157

Summary

Origin is 157 years old.  (Probably) the most famous book in science was published on 24 November 1859.  To celebrate we have uploaded hundreds of new images of letters, bringing the total number you can look at here to over 9000 representing more than…

Matches: 8 hits

  • book appeared.   You can now see examples of letters to Darwin from nearly 250 different people, and
  • Lyell , and Joseph Hooker , the two men who arranged for Darwins and Wallaces ideas to be made
  • Asa Gray who was an important sounding board for Darwins emerging ideas, and Thomas Huxley
  • scrap from 1857 comparing his views on species to DarwinsOthers, like Hugh Falconer , …
  • the less well-known scientific collaborators who became Darwin's correspondents, Mary Treat
  • several of their children: William, George, Henrietta , Francis , Leonard, and Horace. Francis
  • of water thrown over me on rising William Darwin Fox , Charless cousin and another
  • the other names to look for: Daniel Oliver W. T. Thiselton-Dyer George