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Darwin Correspondence Project

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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To J. S. Henslow   March 1834

Summary

On fossils ([Megatherium], etc.), plants, shells sent and new ones found; geological observations. Asks for help in understanding cleavage and planes of deposition.

A new species of ostrich. Cites differences in size, colour, nidification, and geographical distribution.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  Mar 1834
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-238

From Caroline Darwin   9–28 March [1834]

Summary

They learn from a garbled report in the Times that CD’s specimens have arrived in Cambridge.

William Clift, at Royal College of Surgeons, delighted by CD’s letter about the bones that were sent to Plymouth.

Strange coincidence that Royal College of Surgeons has the front portion and CD has sent home the remainder of a skull, of which a drawing can now be completed.

Other news of family and friends.

Author:  Caroline Sarah Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 & 28 Mar [1834]
Classmark:  DAR 204.6.1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-239

From J. M. Herbert   [28 March] 1834

Summary

A letter full of news of Cambridge and friends: the BAAS meeting at Cambridge; charges of corruption in the University; the Cambridge petition on behalf of Dissenters.

Author:  John Maurice Herbert
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [28 Mar] 1834
Classmark:  DAR 204.8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-240

To Edward Lumb   30 March 1834

Summary

CD asks the time of shipment and vessel in which the [Megatherium] bones were conveyed.

Patagonia swarms with guanaco, but few other creatures.

Hopes to be able to draw up a tolerable sketch of the geology of the east side of S. America.

Saw Jemmy Button, who is married and will stay in Tierra del Fuego. Mentions Falkland uprising.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward Lumb
Date:  30 Mar 1834
Classmark:  Profiles in History (dealers) (2006)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-241
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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: 24 hits

  • … (1) Abney, W. de W. (3) Accademia dei Lincei …
  • … (1) Ainslie, O. A. (3) Airy, Hubert …
  • … (4) Alberts, Maurice (3) Albrecht, R. F. …
  • … (1) Ambrose, J. L. (3) American Academy of …
  • … (1) Anderson, James (c) (3) Anderson-Henry, …
  • … (1) Badger, E. W. (3) Baer, K. E. von …
  • … (1) Balch, C. L. (3) Baldwin, J. D. …
  • … (5) Ball, Robert (3) Ball, Valentine …
  • … (1) Beal, W. J. (3) Beale, L. S. (2) …
  • … (1) Beddoe, John (3) Beger, Karl (2) …
  • … (66) Bergson, Edouard (3) Bergstedt, C. F. …
  • … (4) Blake, C. C. (3) Blanche (2) …
  • … (1) Blewitt, Octavian (3) Blomefield, Leonard …
  • … (5) Boole, M. E. (3) Boott, Francis …
  • … (1) Bornet, Édouard (3) Bosquet, J. A. H. de …
  • … (1) Bouton, Louis (3) Bowerbank, J. S. …
  • … (1) Bridgman, W. K. (3) Brigg, John …
  • … (1) Brown-Séquard, C. É. (3) Browne, H. G. C. …
  • … (2) Burgess, Thomas (3) Burn, Robert …
  • … (1) Bush, John (3) Busk, George (18) …
  • … (2) Butler, Mary (3) Butler, Samuel (b) …
  • … (1) Campbell, G. D. (3) Canby, W. M. …
  • … (9) Cattell, John (3) Cecil, Henry …
  • … (7) Chance, Frank (3) Chancellor of the …

Darwin in letters, 1860: Answering critics

Summary

On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwin’s Origin of species, printing off another 3000 copies to satisfy the demands of an audience that surprised both the publisher and the author. It wasn't long, however, before ‘the…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … at all concern his main argument ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1860] ). Darwin’s …
  • … been ‘ utterly  smashed’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). (A chronological list of all …
  • … and five botanists ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 March [1860] ). Others, like François Jules …
  • … I gaze at it, makes me sick!’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 3 April [1860] ). By the end of 1860, …
  • … is best thing for subject.—’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). Further details of the …

Teaching Evolution at Key Stage 3? Join our December workshop

Summary

This free, exciting training and consultation event takes place on Tuesday 12th December at Cambridge University Library, 9.00-4.30. The workshop aims to support KS3 science teachers in delivering informed, dynamic Darwin-based sessions.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … This exciting training and consultation event takes place on Tuesday 12th December at Cambridge …

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: 8 hits

  • … of a ‘short essay’ on man ( letter to Ernst Haeckel, 3 July 1868 ). But this work would eventually …
  • … pages feel fairly nauseated’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 February [1868] ). But such worries were …
  • … kind almost heroic, in you to sacrifice your hair and pay 3 d  in the cause of science …
  • … canary (letters from J. J. Weir, [26] March 1868 and 3 June 1868 ). ‘It was very kind’, …
  • … on 9 September . Darwin annotated a letter sent on 3 April by Henry Doubleday that contained a …
  • … you have communicated to me’ ( letter to Fritz Müller, 3 June 1868 ). it is a fatal …
  • … of species through the study of monstrosities, remarked on 3 April , ‘your works are destined to …
  • … admirer of your genius’, wrote Frederick Behrens on 3 December , ‘I presume you are much plagued …

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: 5 hits

  • … on Annals of Nat. Hist. [Jenyns 1838] Prichard; a 3 d . vol [Prichard 1836–47] Lawrence [W. …
  • … ou Traité de Tératologie, par I. Geoffroy-Saint Hilaire, 3 vols. 8vo. et atlas de 20 planches. ibid, …
  • … of Human wishes. 28 Bacon’s Essays [Bacon 1825–36].— Butler. 3. first sermons …
  • … 1826]— (read) Pallas’ Travels [Pallas 1802–3]— Hookker (623 no) read Darby’s Louisiana …
  • … Drinkwater] 1833]— Prof. Smyth. French Revolution 3 vols [Smyth 1840] Baber’s …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick

Summary

Darwin made a famous comment about parallels between changes in language and species change. Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Leeds University, talks about the importance of the development of language to Darwin, what…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … topic for Darwin? And if so, why? 3. Darwin made a famous comment about parallels …
  • … Darwinian account of the origin of language. 3. Darwin made a famous comment about parallels …

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: 5 hits

  • … to the subject of cross and self-fertilisation. On 3 October , he wrote with fresh enthusiasm to …
  • … other interested parties. Darwin was summoned to testify on 3 November. It caused him much anxiety, …
  • … for printing an additional 250 ( letter to John Murray, 3 May 1875 ). In the event, the …
  • … weekly publications of Natural History’, he explained on 3 June , ‘are not sufficiently …
  • … time I can talk to anyone’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 3 May [1875] ). Finally it was arranged for …

Detecting Darwin

Summary

Who was Charles Darwin? What is he famous for? Why is he still important?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Pupils act as Darwin detectives, exploring clues about Darwin’s life and work. No prior knowledge …

Darwin And Evolution

Summary

What is evolution? What did Darwin discover and how did he come to his conclusions?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities give an introduction to Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Specimens brought …

Darwin's Fantastical Voyage

Summary

Learn about Darwin's adventures on his epic journey.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … These activities explore Darwin’s life changing voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Using letters home, …

Language: key letters

Summary

How and why language evolved bears on larger questions about the evolution of the human species, and the relationship between man and animals. Darwin presented his views on the development of human speech from animal sounds in The Descent of Man (1871),…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Letter 8367: Darwin, C. R. to Wright, Chauncey, 3 June [1872] In this letter to the …
  • … Letter 8962: Darwin, C. R. to Max Müller, Friedrich, 3 July 1873 In the 1870s, Darwin …

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: 4 hits

  • … – Asa Gray Actor 2 – Charles Darwin Actor 3 – In the dress of a modern day archivist, …
  • … friend, the botanist, Joseph D Hooker GRAY:   3   Charles Darwin… made his home on …
  • … quite kindly, and told me… Hugh Falconer (Actor 3) – a Scottish paleobotanist and …
  • … and in a lesser degree ‘Blood’s One Penny Envelope, 1, 3, and 10 cents’. If you will make him this …

Teachers notes: Offer of a lifetime

Summary

The Offer of a Lifetime?  Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he received an exciting and unique opportunity to join HMS Beagle. The voyage changed his life but the letters show how close he came to not going at all! …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … a Lifetime?  Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he …

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: 5 hits

  • … ( see letter from Hugh Falconer to Erasmus Alvey Darwin, 3 January 1865 ). Erasmus forwarded his …
  • … these alone are unalloyed’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1865 ). Darwin, now …
  • … than anything else. I am able most days to work for 2 or 3 hours & this makes all the difference …
  • … the serenity of the Christian world’ (Brewster 1862, p. 3). John Hutton Balfour, though he had sent …
  • … of reform and reorganisation ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [3 November 1865] ). The death of …

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: 5 hits

  • … of inheritance!” ( letter to F. S. B. F. de Chaumont, 3 February [1873] ). Some readers …
  • … civilisation and good breeding ( letter from Henry Reeks, 3 March 1873 ). Robert Swinhoe …
  • … some with his finger ( letter to  Nature , [before 3 April 1873] ). Moggridge suggested the …
  • … offend his father ( enclosure to letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 December 1873 ).  In April, …
  • … the passage of purgatory” ( letter from Andrew Clark, 3 September 1873 ). Revising …

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: 5 hits

  • … duck  most beautiful’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 3 March 1872 ). I consider that you …
  • … because I do it badly’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 3 August [1872] ).  Darwin's …
  • … , and he complained to the German zoologist Anton Dohrn on 3 February that Mivart’s book had ' …
  • … Nature  in Wallace’s defence ( letter to  Nature  , 3 August [1872] ).  Although the two …
  • … more ‘ she observed ( letter from S. H. Haliburton, 3 November [1872] ). They reminisced about …

Interview with Tim Lewens

Summary

Dr Tim Lewens is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Organisms and artifacts (2004), which examines the language and arguments for design in biology and philosophy, and of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … about debates that we have right now. 3. Darwin’s reputation among scientists …

Interview with Emily Ballou

Summary

Emily Ballou is a writer of novels and screenplays, and a prize-winning poet. Her book The Darwin Poems, which explores aspects of Darwin’s life and thoughts through the medium of poetry, was recently published by the University of Western Australia Press.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … that I saw the plaque on the stone. 3. Prior knowledge of Darwin …

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: 5 hits

  • … Bence Jones: ‘I am able now to walk daily on an average 3½ miles & often one mile at a stretch…. …
  • … for about 1½ hours every day’ ( letter to H. B. Jones, 3 January [1866] ). Darwin had first …
  • … London, like what I was 7 or 8 years ago— one day I paid 3 calls! & then went for ¾ to Zoolog. …
  • … little is known on the subject’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 and 4 August [1866] ). And on the next …
  • … did in fact divide Darwin and Hooker, who remarked on 3 November that the application of high …

Darwin The Collector

Summary

Look at nature more closely and create and record your own natural collections.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities provide an introduction to Charles Darwin, how and why he collected so many specimens …
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